You may be feeling ok, or not. But you’re uncertain if you’re feeling well enough, or if you need help. Friends may have mentioned that therapy would help. But you think you’re fine. If you do think therapy could help, you don’t know what to ask help for. If this is the sort of talk that goes on in your head, read on.
Therapy can be enormously beneficial for those who are suffering from anxiety, depression, trauma, and other mental health issues. But what if you don’t know if you have any of those issues? Here are 5 questions you can ask yourself to check whether you could use the help of a therapist.
1. Am I sleeping enough? Or am I sleeping too much?
Irregular sleeping patterns are usually the first signs of a mental health issue. Anxiety and ADHD tend to lead to sleeplessness, insomnia or other irregular sleep patterns. Depression and related disorders could lead to too much sleep and drowsiness during the day. Approaching a therapist or a sleep doctor can help you figure out your next steps.
2. Am I feeling stressed and overwhelmed?
Stress and overwhelm, whether created by challenges at your workplace, or in your relationships may be addressed by short term therapy. However, if stress and overwhelm are leading to emotional and mental upheaval that is impairing your basic decision making and daily functioning, then it may be a symptom of a more serious mental health issue. A therapist can diagnose and come up with a treatment plan to help you.
3. Am I eating too much? Am I losing weight?
Your eating habits can help you gauge when there may be something going on with your health. Many people use food (emotional eating) to cope with other issues such as anxiety, depression, etc. Others may deny themselves food (bulimia, anorexia) due to social anxieties, or self confidence issues. A change in eating habits is usually a sign of mental health issues, and is best addressed by a therapist.
4. Am I using/abusing substances to cope?
Many people who don’t think they have a problem, or don’t want to seek a therapist, try to solve their inner issues on their own by using escape mechanisms such as substance abuse, or addictive behaviors. What may start as a simple habit may soon lead to addiction. Most addiction patients also have an underlying mental health issue. Substance use, rather than helping to cope, in fact creates an additional chronic issue to deal with. The sooner you recognize this pattern, the better it is to seek therapy.
5. Am I being consumed by my thoughts and emotions?
Mental health issues are created by disturbing negative thoughts, intense emotions, and the inability to regulate your behaviors caused by those thoughts and emotions. Sometimes they can be short term, for example, if you are grieving the loss of a relationship or a loved one. Long term issues such as mood disorders, behavioral disorders, conduct disorders, anxiety disorders, and a host of other mental health issues are also underpinned by intrusive thoughts and disruptive emotions. A therapist can help you get to the root of your issues and help overcome them.
If you recognize yourself in one or more of the above, take the first step of reaching out for help. Taking that first step can be a huge relief to unburden yourself of your issues and be able to receive help that you didn’t know you needed. Call us to see how we can help.
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