There is a common misconception that going to see a therapist is a sign of weakness, and that those who do are “unstable” or “crazy”.
The reality is that most people enter therapy because they are hurting or struggling in some way, and it takes great strength and courage to begin to address that.
Just as therapy is an individualised process, so are the reasons that bring people to therapy. Some people seek help because they have felt depressed, anxious or angry for a long time, others may want help for relationship difficulties, self-destructive habits (such as addiction) or a chronic illness that is interfering with their emotional or physical well-being. Sometimes short-term problems or unexpected changes also bring people into therapy - for example, going through a divorce, feeling overwhelmed by a new job, or grieving the loss of a family member.
Psychiatric conditions or life stressors warrant attention when they begin to interfere with a person’s life and ability to function. Signs to look out for include:
Overwhelming feelings of sadness, helplessness, anger and irritability.
Feeling constantly on edge or worrying unnecessarily.
Drastic changes in your mood and/or a persistently low mood.
Difficulty coping with everyday stressors - a general feeling of “it’s just all too much”.
Changes in your work/school, social, and personal relationships (e.g., withdrawal, frequent arguments).
Feeling disconnected from family, friends, and loved ones.
Loss of interest in things that you used to find pleasurable.
Changes in your sleep routine, appetite, energy levels, and/or libido.
Drinking too much or using drugs and/or food to feel better.
A sense that problems never improve.
Thoughts of suicide.