When we go to our physician for treatment of a problem, he or she may give us a prescription to either cure a disease or to reduce the symptoms. As we go through life, we sometimes consciously or unconsciously "doctor" ourselves by developing coping strategies for problems we encounter.
These coping strategies sometimes include drugs or alcohol, but may also include anger, depression, anxiety, shame, guilt or any number of other behaviors. Sometimes the medications your physician prescribes have unpleasant or even dangerous side effects like hives or difficulty breathing. And just like medications, sometimes our coping strategies have serious unwanted side effects too. If you are experiencing any of the following, it could be time for you to seek the help of a therapist.
1. You’re experiencing unexplained mood swings.
We all have good days and bad days, this is normal. But if your mood is changing significantly for no apparent reason, or you have extreme mood swings, it might be time to see a therapist or counselor. Mood swings may be indicative of Bi-Polar Disorder or some other mental disease.
2. You’re undergoing a big change.
Change, even positive wonderful change like getting a new job or becoming engaged, can take a toll on us emotionally. The more change we experience, the harder it becomes for us to adjust. Our physical and mental health may begin to suffer. A therapist can help you learn ways to manage the change and reduce the negative health aspects change can impose. To assess how change may be affecting you – complete the Life Change Inventory.
3. You’re withdrawing from things that previously brought joy.
No longer finding joy in the things you like could be a warning sign of depression. This may also include avoiding friends and family members.
4. You’re having harmful thoughts.
Suicide and self-harm are completely preventable with treatment by a licensed professional. If you’re thinking of hurting yourself seek help right away. More information regarding suicide and available emergency is available by Clicking Here.
5. You feel isolated or alone.
Loneliness can have a particularly devastating impact us. Particularly vulnerable are the elderly and single souls among us. However, anyone sitting in the middle of a crowded room can feel lonely if they have no common interests with the others around them. Loneliness can damage us emotionally, physically and socially.
In addition to everyday loneliness, many individuals are also affected by seasonal affective disorder - appropriately known as SAD. This condition is a type of depression related to a lack of light during dark months. This seasonal depression affects about 10% of the population with another 20% affected to a lesser extent.
6. You’re using a substance to cope with issues in your life.
If you find yourself using drugs or alcohol to deal with what’s going on in your life, it might be time to seek help. Addiction and substance abuse are serious medical conditions, not character flaws.
7. You feel like you’ve lost control.
People dealing with substance abuse or addiction issues often feel this way. It is this lack of control which traps individuals in the repetitive circle of substance use. Seeing an addiction therapist or going to therapy can help the individual break the cycle.
8. Your relationships feel strained.
Relationships are hard work. Good relationships are really hard work, especially when our relationship skills are weak. A therapist can help individuals develop relationship skills such as managing expectations, setting boundaries and communicating in ways that won’t destroy the positive feelings one's partner has for them. And more importantly, a therapist can teach you to rebuild the emotional bonds that make the relationship with your life partner so rewarding.
9. Your sleeping patterns are off
Too much or too little sleep can be an indication of depression. A therapist can determine if depression is affecting your sleep or if the problem might be related to something else.
10. You feel the need to talk to someone.
Seeking professional help for any health issue, including mental health, is the responsible thing to do. If you think you might need to speak with someone, do it. Therapy can be a beneficial way to feel great again.
You might like to try this “Do I Need Therapy? Quiz” from PsychCentral.