We all feel overwhelmed at many points in life, but we take it in our stride. Minor inconveniences, while stressful, may not make you feel like it is enough reason for seeking professional help.
So let’s clear one thing first, professional help is not reserved for those who have mental disorders. Anybody can seek help, whether it is because of stress, for emotional problems, for maintaining their well-being or just to try it. You do not have to need therapy to go to therapy.
With that out of the way, The American Psychological Association suggests considering therapy when something causes distress and interferes with some part of life, particularly when:
Thinking about or coping with the issue takes up at least an hour each day
The issue causes embarrassment or makes you want to avoid others
The issue has caused your quality of life to decrease
The issue has negatively affected school, work, or relationships
You’ve made changes in your life or developed habits to cope with the issue
A lot of our feelings may also pile up over time and push us towards therapy. For example, Losing hope or motivation, or feeling as if you have no future, can indicate depression or another mental health condition. Feeling hopeless from time to time, especially after a period of difficulty, isn’t uncommon. But when it persists, it may lead to thoughts of suicide.
Another example is disproportionate anger. Everyone feels angry at times. Even passing rage isn’t necessarily harmful. Seeking support to deal with these feelings may be a good idea when they don’t pass, are extreme compared to the situation, or if they lead you to take violent or potentially harmful actions.
There are many more reasons to seek therapy. It helps you learn more about yourself. Having a professional listen to your story and help you make connections will empower you to live life as an improved version of yourself. It is also a cathartic experience and you’re forced to confront your emotions. Speaking aloud and verbalising your thoughts and emotions lets you see them from a new perspective, instead of just in the interior of your own mind.
Sometimes, a person seeks help and is dissatisfied. In this case, a lot of factors might be at work. Not every therapist fits everyone. To find your fit, it is important to try new therapists until you find one you are comfortable with. Other factors can impact how effective therapy is. There is no single, correct approach that works for everyone. Don’t make one bad experience stop you from seeking the help you deserve.
Finally, remember that whatever it is that you are going through will get better!