Do I Need Therapy? Signs It May Be Time
From family conflicts to personal loss, we all experience mental health challenges. Sometimes, we need extra support to bounce back and start feeling better. Psychotherapy can be a valuable resource for building resilience, finding emotional support, and working toward positive change.
During talk therapy, people also learn how to cope with mental health symptoms that may interfere with school, work, relationships, and other aspects of daily life. These skills last long after talk therapy ends, giving you the tools you need to navigate challenging situations throughout life. If you’re thinking about starting psychotherapy for the first time or starting again after some time away, you might be feeling overwhelmed—and that’s completely normal. Here’s how to tell whether it’s time to reach out for professional help.
1. You don’t feel like yourself.
Sometimes, sadness, anger, or hopelessness can be the first signs of a mental health issue. If you’re eating or sleeping more or less than usual, withdrawing from close friends and family members, or just feeling “off,” don’t hesitate to reach out for support.
If left unchecked, emotional problems interfere with everyday life. Difficult emotions can feel overwhelming, and mental health issues might manifest in emotional outbursts, strained relationships, and family conflicts. If these feelings make you question whether life is worth living, talk therapy can provide a safe space to explore these emotions, understand your mental health, and learn healthy coping strategies.
2. You’ve experienced a traumatic event.
If you’ve experienced abuse, neglect, or other trauma, or been the victim of a crime or accident, talk therapy can be a valuable resource during the healing process. Understandably, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms can make you feel hopeless, lost, or out of control. PTSD symptoms can also manifest physically in muscle aches, sleep problems, and chronic pain. The earlier you talk to someone, the faster you can start healing. A licensed therapist can help you understand the situation, learn strategies to express yourself, and manage unresolved trauma.
3. You’re giving into unhealthy habits.
Even if you realize that a specific type of behavior isn’t helpful or healthy, you might find yourself doing it anyway. A lack of control can show up in various areas of your life—from substance use to shopping addiction. Psychotherapy can help you hold yourself accountable, break down negative patterns, and establish healthier habits. Sometimes, triggers can contribute to underlying patterns that you don’t realize until someone helps you figure them out. Psychologists are trained to identify problematic behavior patterns, and they can help you develop skills to make positive changes in your life.
How to Make the Most of Your Therapy Sessions
Whether you’re seeking support for relationship issues or emotional problems, scheduling an appointment with the first counselor you find can be tempting. Even if you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s worth taking the time to find the right therapist. Psychotherapy is hard work, and finding a psychotherapist who you feel comfortable opening up to can make all the difference in the therapeutic process.
At the end of the day, your therapeutic relationship is a key component to successful mental health treatment. The best therapist will help you navigate your specific challenges, offer empathy and support, and give you the tools you need to become the best version of yourself.
To make the most of your therapy sessions, find a good match with The Therapy Group of DC. We know that mental health problems can affect your life, and we’re here to help you make lasting change. One of our compassionate mental health professionals will help you gain insight into your mental wellness and find your strengths.