Stress is part of life. No-one is immune. It has become so normalized that you often don’t even notice the excessive stress you are coping with. If these feelings are having a negative impact on your life to the point that you are finding it hard to function normally, it may be time to ask yourself if you need to see a therapist. Here are 5 signs that it’s time.
1- You feel like you can’t control your emotions
Out-of-control emotions is a sure sign that something is not right. You may feel constantly angry or sad without a valid reason. You may feel like you just “can’t shake” these feelings. If your sleep and eating patterns have also changed, you have withdrawn from family and friends or you just generally feel “not yourself”, it may be time to seek professional help.
2- You are using a substance to cope
If you drink more than usual or you are engaging in drug use, this may be a sign that you are trying to numb feelings you should be addressing with the help of an experienced therapist. Using mood-altering substances more frequently may add another disorder to your existing problems. The “crutches” people use when they feel overwhelmed aren’t limited to alcohol and drugs. If you are engaging in non-stop pornography, gambling or eating more than usual, these may all be ways you are trying to escape your reality.
3- You no longer enjoy things you used to love
The activities you used to enjoy may not hold the same appeal anymore, because your spiraling thoughts are making it impossible to focus. If you are feeling hopeless and like there is no purpose to participating in things you used to be passionate about or you just have a lingering sense of unhappiness that is impacting your quality of life, a therapist will be able to get you thinking in a less destructive way.
4- You’ve experienced a trauma
Many people seek therapy for recent trauma. You may have experienced abuse, discrimination or the death of a loved one, for example. If it is impossible for you to overcome a traumatic experience and it is affecting your work, sleep and relationships, it is time to see a counselor.
5- Your relationships are suffering
If you are finding it hard to keep your friends or you find yourself constantly in conflict with others that is another sign you may need to speak to a therapist.
You may know that your thoughts and behaviors are hurting you, but it may be impossible for you to break the cycle. A trained professional can help you gain new perspective to start thinking in a healthier way. If all of this sounds like you, we can help.