When is seeing a psychologist necessary and is this a decision you should make for yourself? Here are the obvious signs that show that therapy could help.
Mental health crises are skyrocketing. 43.8 million people above 18 years old are subject to experiencing mental illness in any given year.
While mental illness is growing, its stigma makes it hard to get help.
If you’re new to mental illness symptoms, seeing a psychologist is a great next step. Just as you’d see a medical doctor for a physical injury, psychological help is the protocol for mental illness recovery.
Battling your own mind is hard enough; finding the right psychologist can feel like another burden to carry.
If you’re struggling, here’s how to know if you need a psychologist and what to do about it.
Seeing a Psychologist
First thing’s first. Considering a psychologist is huge.
Congratulations. It shows a desire to get better and because of that—help is on the way.
If you’re unsure about whether psychological help would suit you, here’s how to know.
- Disruption in the Basics
When it comes to optimal health, certain things are standard:
- Regulated food
- Regulated sleep
- Safe home
- Sense of belonging
If you find yourself imbalanced with any of the above, it can result in significant stressors. These may involve:
- Disordered eating and eating disorders
- Loss of appetite or weight gain
- Insomnia, chronic fatigue, or disrupted sleep
- Hostility or unsafety at home
- Inability to maintain relationships
Assessing your imbalances can provide insight into your main stressors.
- Disruptions in Daily Life
Having a rocky foundation makes daily life harder. The aforementioned stressors, when brought into the world, can look like the following.
- Low performance or absence in school
- Low performance or absence from work
- Apathy or lethargy around things you once enjoyed
- Little creativity
- Few passions
- Little ambition
- Low emotional resilience
- Low energy
- Missed commitments
- Lost or strained relationships
- Financial issues
- Short-temper or rage
- Feelings of shutting down, turning off or giving up
It’s hard to hide these battles. If family, friends, professors, or co-workers have shown concern for you, that’s another sign of needing psychology help.
- Mental Illness Symptoms
Playing the self-diagnosing game is dangerous, but it’s tempting in the pre-psychologist stage. While labels can be validating, they’re best explored in treatment.
That said, if you’ve experienced symptoms for an extended period of time, it’s possible the following may be familiar to you.
- Addictive and/or compulsive behavior
- Involving sex, food, alcohol, drugs, relationships, and routines
- Self-harming and/or suicidal thoughts or behavior
- Feelings of chronic emptiness or sadness
- Feelings of rage or chronic anger
- Mania or hyperactivity
- Mood swings
- Self-sabotaging or dangerous behaviors
- Obsessive fears
If you’re having an, Ohh, so that’s why that happened, moment, that’s more validation.
Seeing a psychologist can hash out the whys behind your struggle to reclaim your health, balance, and freedom.
- Self-Resourcing’s Failed
You’ve tried everything to make yourself feel better: self-care, social gatherings, baths, crying, travel, switching jobs, getting a dog, everything. Ultimately, changing the external can’t fix the internal. At the end of the day, you may just feel the following things.
Sometimes, the struggle screams in subtleties. If you feel like you should be feeling better after doing things that used to help, something deeper’s going on.
While you are not truly any of the above, if you often feel those ways, it’s likely time for a depression psychologist.
- Your Struggle Consumes Your Life
Fighting with your mind is exhausting. If you’re always fighting to feel pleasant emotions and think, life shouldn’t be this hard, you’re right.
If you’re often distracted, stuck in your mind, and circling whys behind how you feel, something wants your attention.
- Significant Life Changes
Even if you don’t have a family history of mental illness, life events can easily trigger grief and depression. If you’re wondering why you feel so poorly after a big life event, they’re likely correlated. Psychological help can be short or long-term to help process these experiences.
If you’ve experienced any of the following losses, a psychologist can help you through it.
- Divorce, separation, or relationship troubles
- Death of a family member, friend or pet
- Sudden estrangement or fallout from family
- Loss of job or change in career path
- Financial crises
- Natural disasters
- A traumatic incident
- Postpartum depression or miscarriages
Life can throw harsh curveballs, but you don’t have to experience them alone.
It’s true that life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we respond. For some, these events are difficult, but they manage. For others, grief turns complex and manifests in other ways.
All forms of trauma are valid and worthy of psychological help.
Stored trauma can stem from:
- One particular event
- Several or recurring events
- Living in chronic survival mode
- Adapting to unsafe conditions
- Repressing memories
Types of trauma may come from:
- Sexual experiences
- Emotional or verbal abuse
- Domestic disputes
- Car accidents
- Natural disasters
- Childhood experiences
- Physical injuries
No matter your trauma, your body’s speaking to you. A psychologist can help you learn what it says.
- You Don’t Feel Like You
While seeking a psychologist, you may not be able to see the forest through the trees. It may be hard enough to process words.
Just know that at the end of the day, all you need to know, you already know. If you don’t feel like you, you feel you’ve changed, or you feel out of alignment with your true self, it’s time for psychological help.
Getting Through It Together
There’s nothing more healing than being seen in your struggle. Seeing a psychologist can take an immense weight off your shoulders. Consider your psychologist to be a member of your team; they truly are on your side.
Once you find a psychologist, healing happens. Just like a medical doctor gives a prognosis, a psychologist is part of your treatment plan.
Once you find the right person for you, you may even wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
For more on emotional wellness, check out our other blog posts!