When it comes to your physical health, it’s often quite simple to decide whether or not you need to see a doctor. If you catch a cold, there’s really no need to make an appointment; however, if you break a bone, you know you need to seek medical attention. With your mental and emotional health, it’s not as easy to decide when you would benefit from professional help and support. You may be questioning if you should go to therapy.
Here is how to tell if therapy is right for you:
It’s common to feel anxious sometimes, we all do. Anxiety is a response to your brain perceiving a danger or threat. In the right circumstances, it can serve to motivate and protect you. With anxiety, however, oftentimes it can feel like your brain is on overdrive, and you may be experiencing anxiety easily and often.
Perhaps you experience anxiety in the form of racing thoughts or frequent worrying. Maybe you feel it in your body. When anxiety is impacting your quality of life, getting in the way of your normal routine, affecting your sleep, or feeling difficult to control, it may be time to seek support from a therapist.
With anxiety, therapy may be right for you. It can be a place to gain a better understanding of what triggers you and learn tools to better manage it. The goal of therapy is never to get rid of anxiety, nor is that possible, but to learn how to cope with it.
Trauma or Abuse
Trauma and abuse can cause a significant negative impact on every aspect of your life. Your relationships, your sleep, your self-esteem, and your ability to experience joy or happiness can all be impacted.
You may feel haunted by the memories of what you experienced, and at times feel like you can’t control how much this changes your mood, capacity to focus, and overall ability to even get through the day.
Processing what you have been through, learning about how trauma impacts your brain and body, and finding ways to manage the effects of this experience in an empathic, non-judgemental and safe environment can help you to heal.
If you find yourself struggling to communicate with your significant other and feel that your ability to connect and be intimate has changed, it may be beneficial to seek couples therapy. That way, you’ll have an unbiased third party help you to understand the underlying causes of your problems and assist you with openly exploring solutions together.
Obsessive or Compulsive Behaviors
Life can feel unbearable when dealing with obsessive or compulsive disorders. If you find yourself consumed by compulsive thoughts and behaviors that are negatively impacting your daily life, seeking therapy can be an important first step to gaining control over your thoughts and behaviors. In this case, working with a trained mental health professional through therapy may be the right choice for you.
Difficult Life Transitions
Major life changes such as the loss of a job, a divorce, or the death of a loved one can be incredibly difficult to cope with. Though you may have navigated a life transition on your own in the past, perhaps this more recent event is causing you to feel anxious or depressed, or you just feel stuck. It can feel like a huge relief to process your feelings of grief, get the support you need, and learn to adjust and adapt to this significant life change with a therapist.