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Feeling a little teary now and again is no reason to rush to the therapists couch. Equally, mother’s little helper of the sixties, should be the last resort.
But let’s not trivialize the subject. At some point in most people’s lives a session or two with a friendly listener is beneficial for sure. At what point does it become necessary?
Well, long before you are wandering the streets in your night clothes that’s when. A nervous breakdown is leaving it too long. Reading the signs doesn’t take a doctor. A few tips from one can help you spot when things are heading the wrong way.
It is a bit of a cliché, but if you are regularly feeling low, or always angry for no apparent reason, reach out. These are genuine symptoms of mental health problems. That’s not to say you are crazy but these things can easily manifest into major issues.
Seek out professional therapy. Most cases can be dealt with and will improve with treatment. Your mental health is precious so look out for it. If you get to the point of feeling so low that you start thinking about death or taking you own life, seek help immediately.
Sudden changes in sleeping habits are another sign things may not be quite right. Withdrawal from friends and family, binge eating, neglecting person grooming, all are indictors. Feeling tired all the time may indicate a physical problem, but it is also one of the top indicators for depressive disorders.
There is nothing wrong with a drink or two. The issues arise when you look to the bottle to help you deal with life or to feel better. It is not just alcohol or drugs, there are many compulsive behaviors that are very destructive. Sex, gambling, drugs, even high risk sports can all be indicators that you need help coping.
So if you just have to have that ‘quick fix’ to get you through the day you could benefit from a session or two. The main problem with recognizing addictive behavior is self-denial. This is where friends and family can play a major role.
Losing someone dear hurts. Unfortunately, at some point in your life you will have to endure this. There is no shame in speaking to a professional at this difficult time. Many of us struggle to cope. Family at this time is very important, as often it is a shared healing process. Not all have that support network.
Divorce, job loss or even a pet dying can trigger depressive episodes. Trauma from your past has a habit of coming back and biting you if it was not sufficiently dealt with. There is a very real stigma about having therapy. The fact is it more common than you think.
We all go a little off the rails at times. Just because you have a couple of sessions on the black couch doesn’t mean the rest of your life will be spent reliving your past. A study in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology stated that 88% of patients expressed feelings of improvement after just one session.
Most of us just need an expert to listen to our problems. Some have bigger problems and need more in depth treatment. Don’t become one of the latter by delay.