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Do I Need Therapy? 10 Signs You Could Use a Therapist

Published July 16th, 2022 by Mfarin42

In 2020, 1 in 6 adults in the U.S. sought services for mental health treatment.

This number may come as a shock, considering that treating mental health is still a somewhat stigmatized topic. But what if it didn't have to be? 

If you're asking yourself, "Do I need therapy?" the answer is most likely yes. Here are 10 signs you may benefit from receiving mental health counseling.

1. Changes in Eating Habits 

A sudden change in the amount that you're eating can signal a potential for mental health struggles. If you're eating has decreased significantly, it may be due to low energy levels and loss of appetite. These are common symptoms associated with depression and anxiety.

Alternatively, if you're eating far more than you usually do, it could be a coping mechanism. Eating sends signals to the brain to release chemicals associated with the feeling of pleasure. When you're emotional or going through a rough time, you may subconsciously eat more to improve your mood.

There are specific types of therapy to help patients manage their eating and understand why these changes are occurring.

2. Ability to Manage Emotions

Typically, a person can manage and regulate emotions in a healthy way.

If you're suddenly prone to outbursts and/or breakdowns at smaller issues, this would be a great reason to seek mental health counseling.

Sure, everyone gets angry or has moments of overwhelming emotions. However, if your emotions are managing your life and relationships, it may be a good time to ask yourself, "Do I need therapy?"

3. Past Trauma

Everyone goes through difficult incidents in life. Some people's past experiences can be more traumatic than others. No matter the severity of the trauma, it's important to work through haunting events of the past.

Many people wonder, "Do I need therapy? These events happened so long ago."  If the event is impacting emotional regulation and how you handle day-to-day issues, seeing a therapist would be beneficial.

Remember, no matter the intensity of the event, everyone handle's things differently. There's no shame in seeking therapy to work through these issues and relieve that mental burden.

4. Intrusive Thoughts

Intrusive thoughts are unwanted thoughts that pop into your thought patterns unexpectedly. These unpleasant thoughts can become overwhelming and distract from day-to-day activities. 

Those with ADHD, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues often experience uncontrollable intrusive thoughts. These thoughts are usually negative things you don't mean or believe in or could be memories of past trauma.

Seeking mental health counseling and talking with a therapist can help relieve these thoughts and give you tools to deal with them when they arise. 

5. Lack of Concern

A major sign of depression is usually a feeling of "not caring."

You may experience a loss of excitement over things you once loved doing. You don't have the mental energy to do these things and forego opportunities you once would've jumped on.

This feeling can even translate into school or work. Find yourself getting poor feedback? Not caring enough to complete assignments or work-related projects?

This doesn't mean you're lazy, this just means you may benefit from seeing a therapist to get to the root of why you suddenly stopped caring about important things you once did.

6. Feeling Overwhelmed

Usually, you're on top of things. Work, school, going to the gym, cooking, or whatever other tasks you regularly complete throughout the week.

Everyone gets overwhelmed, but becoming overwhelmed with everyday activities is a sign you should seek counseling. The root problem is most likely anxiety and is something that can be worked through properly, with the help of a therapist.

7. Sudden Avoidance of Social Situations

So you've recently begun to withdraw from friends and family. Parties, events, dinners, and going out are usually things you enjoy, but lately you haven't been able to muster the energy to go. It's time to think, "Do I need therapy?"

This avoidance of social situations is more than just feeling a little blue. Seeking mental health counseling for this behavior is important in preventing the progression of severe social anxiety.

8. Feeling Burnt Out

Mental and physical health go hand-in-hand. If you've begun to feel tired of work and/or school, you may be burnt out.

Burnout does occur without the presence of mental health issues but is usually a major sign of depression. If you're unable to even approach the thought of your usual work or muster the slightest energy to get to class, it's time to discuss this with a mental health professional.

A therapist can help you figure out if you need a change of work or if your burnout may be caused by underlying mental health issues.

9. Increase in Substance Use

Just as eating sends pleasure signals to the brain, so does drug and alcohol use. 

It's common to enjoy a drink or two from time to time. If you find yourself using substances frequently, however, substance use is less for pleasure and more for escape.

Talking with a therapist can help you determine if your substance usage is concerning. They'll be able to recommend healthier coping mechanisms. 

10. You Constantly Feel Sick

Your body will tell you if you're dealing with mental health issues. Physical signs such as exhaustion, nausea, headaches, or other symptoms can be a result of a lack of mental health treatment. 

The brain is a powerful organ. If your emotional and mental well-being isn't healthy, your body will present physical signs of distress. 

Ask Yourself: Do I Need Therapy?

Seeking therapy isn't just for people who have been through extreme circumstances. Therapy can help everyone improve their mental health, relationships, and overall well-being.

If you relate to any of these signs, it may be time to stop asking yourself, "Do I need therapy?" and start finding mental health counseling centers with professionals so that you aren't dealing with these issues alone.

If you're within the five boroughs of New York City and ready to start your healing mental health journey, contact us to start making positive changes in your life. 

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