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Perhaps it has crossed your mind to get in touch with a therapist at some point. Sometimes you might have figured out the answer on your own or convinced yourself that if you wait a little longer, the problem might go away. Or you're probably still wondering if you should talk to someone, but you're not sure if it's a priority for you right now.
Knowing when to see a psychologist can be challenging. Everyone can have a bad day or go through a difficult situation, but when should you seek help?
We have listed daily challenges and how you can benefit from talking to a psychologist.
Management of your Mental Health
With all the challenges that life brings, you may find it difficult to find balance while dealing with everyday life. You may be stressed and find it difficult to manage and process all your feelings.
- Difficulty in managing stress
Stress can make you aggressive and irritable or ineffective and desperate. If you have difficulty managing your anxiety, a psychologist can help you learn healthy stress management skills or can help you resolve problems in order to reduce or eliminate certain stressful aspects of your life.
- Difficulty in emotion regulation
Negative emotions, such as anxiety and anger, can be difficult to manage sometimes. And while you may be coping well with some of your feelings, there may be one or two that seem to overwhelm you more often. With the help of a psychologist, you can discover anger management or stress reduction techniques that will help you feel better sooner.
- Unhealthy ways to cope
Eating excessively (emotional eating) because you are stressed or drinking alcohol to help you relax may result in temporary suppression of stress. However, it still creates unhealthy habits that will cause you problems in the long-term.
Spending many hours of reading books or watching TV can also be considered unhealthy practices, if you use them as an excuse to avoid solving problems. With the help of an expert, you can find healthy ways of coping that reduce the intensity of unpleasant emotions while helping you face your problems without distractions.
Self and Relationship Improvement
- Difficulty in achieving goals
Ranging from weight loss aims to financial goals, there are many obstacles that can stand between you and your success. Some of these (loss of motivation, perfectionism and self-destruction) can make goal achievement nearly impossible. A psychologist can help you identify and address them.
- Need for improvement in your relationship
Relationship management can be very difficult (loss of assertive behavior, attachment issues and fear of conflict). The therapist can teach you, from learning how to establish healthy boundaries to uncovering the reason why you often might sabotage your relationships. By helping to build and maintain healthy relationships.
Dealing with important life events
- Going through a period of transition
A significant life transition (starting a new job, moving house or ending a relationship) can cause great discomfort. Consulting with a psychologist can provide the emotional support you need to better adapt to the changes that life unexpectedly brings.
- Your mood affects your work
It is normal to feel down or anxious sometimes. However, if you feel that your mood is blocking your effectiveness and productivity at work, it may be a sign that it's time to talk to someone. A therapist can help you get unstuck (by changing your thinking, by managing your emotions better).
- Change in your appetite or sleep
Notable people lose their appetite for food when they are emotionally distressed, while others eat more. The same goes for sleep, some people have insomnia while some people sleep a lot more. In some times you would not witness a dramatic change in sleep hours but you may feel exhausted because you do not have good quality sleep (disturbed sleep, nightmares, etc.). Once medical causes have been ruled out, a mental health specialist can help you investigate if there are emotional causes.
- Lack of interest in activities you used to enjoy
If you lose your interest in activities that you used to find enjoyable, it is a sign that something may be wrong in your life. It is normal for activities to come and go, but when you show disinterest in most of them it might mean that you have been affected mentally (sadness, anxiety). A psychotherapist can help you understand why you have lost interest and how important fun activities are to your mental health.
The question of when to go to a psychologist I do not believe that can be fully covered by a single article. You will go when you feel ready, when you feel like you can't take it anymore, when you feel threatened, when you feel bored, when you want to change something, when you want to change, when you want to make an important decision, whenever you feel like it. I DON'T NEED to have something serious to talk to a person who will be there to truly listen to me, not judge me, who will do everything in their power to make me feel good, who will try to find a solution to my problem, who will stand by me and walk with me on this difficult journey.