Mental health struggles can be extremely complex, and they often develop gradually. If you’ve been struggling with your mental health for a long time, you might not even realize how much the issues are interfering with your daily life. People often downplay and dismiss their own challenges regardless of the severity. No matter what you’re going through, though, you deserve support from a therapist if you don’t feel well.
If you’re wondering whether you should start seeing a therapist, you would probably benefit from counseling. You don’t have to display certain symptoms or reach a specific stage of mental illness to seek support. The fact that you’re considering it may be reason enough. However, if you’re skeptical about whether or not seeing a therapist would be a good investment, there are some key signs to look out for.
Here Are Six Signs It’s Time to See a Therapist
1. You don’t enjoy your hobbies anymore.
Everyone needs at least one activity that adds meaning to their day, provides a sense of accomplishment, or offers an outlet for expression. When you’re struggling with your mental health, though, you may not have the mental or emotional energy to engage in the activities you once loved. A loss of interest in your hobbies can be a sign of depression, but it can also occur as a result of chronic stress and other challenges.
Your therapist will help you identify the cause of your loss of interest. Maybe something specific happened that has affected your energy and motivation, or maybe an underlying mental health disorder is at play. By exploring the situation with your therapist, you can develop a stronger understanding of your mental and emotional health.
2. Your eating or sleeping habits are changing.
Eating and sleeping are two vital activities, but they’re often the first to go when someone is dealing with a mental health concern. Some people overeat to numb their feelings and escape from their pain, and others lose their appetite during a mental health crisis. Similarly, you might sleep excessively as a result of your struggles, or you might find it impossible to fall asleep.
Unexplained changes in eating and sleeping patterns may be an indicator of a mental health issue. If you find it difficult to reflect on your emotions, you can instead take a look at your daily habits. A major change could be a physical manifestation of an underlying emotional health concern, and a therapist can help you get to the bottom of it.
3. You have no sense of self.
An identity crisis is a common reason to see a therapist. Losing your sense of self can happen when you go through a traumatic or life-changing event or when you’re facing a serious mental health disorder. Understanding who you are is very important to your overall well-being, so working with a therapist to better understand yourself can be incredibly helpful.
Your therapist will not tell you what to do or tell you who you are. Their responsibility is to create a space for you to explore and express yourself. They may ask you questions so that you can gain insight into yourself, but you are ultimately the expert on your own life. Exploring your sense of identity with the help of a therapist could provide you with the clarity you need to make important decisions or break unhealthy habits.
4. The smallest issues set you off.
Difficulty with stress management and emotional regulation are two of the most common signs it’s time to see a therapist. When you’re chronically stressed or emotionally unwell, even the smallest challenges can feel impossible to manage. You might lash out in anger at the slightest provocation, or you may break down whenever something goes wrong.
No one deserves to live this way, but a therapist can help you gain the skills you need to cope with whatever life throws your way. Your therapist may help you identify the issues in your life that are making you feel mentally or emotionally drained. You and your therapist can work together to put a plan in place that will help your life feel more manageable and sustainable. Your therapist can also introduce you to healthy coping and self-regulation skills that you can use to de-escalate when you start to feel overwhelmed.
5. You don’t have a support system.
Some people are surrounded by loving friends and family who are always happy to offer support. While these people may not be mental health professionals, they can offer a great deal of empathy and validation. Unfortunately, though, not everyone has access to a social support network.
A therapist may be especially valuable for you if you don’t have anyone else in your life to turn to. Everyone needs to feel heard and understood and seeing a therapist can be a great opportunity to process what you’re going through and express your emotions. Working with a therapist is also helpful for those who prefer not to open up to their family or friends. Some people prefer to keep their emotions private, but your therapist offers a safe, confidential space for you to work on your mental health.
6. You’re turning to unhealthy habits to cope.
Indulging in unhealthy habits from time to time is typical behavior but using dangerous or harmful activities to distract yourself from your emotional pain is a sign that something’s wrong. Abusing drugs or alcohol, spending recklessly, driving dangerously, or engaging in harmful relationships are all unhealthy coping mechanisms that will only temporarily numb you.
Talking to a therapist is essential if you find yourself becoming dependent on these behaviors. In most cases, these coping mechanisms are not simply habits that you can break with willpower. You have to explore the underlying reasons that you’re turning to unhealthy behaviors, and a therapist can provide you with the support you need while you put in this work.
Knowing when to see a therapist can be challenging, especially if you’ve never worked with a mental health professional before. Counseling may seem daunting but talking to a therapist is an excellent way to overcome your emotional obstacles and improve your overall health.
Therapist in Los Angeles
If you’re interested in finding a therapist in Los Angeles, The Beverly Hills Therapy Group is here to help. Our practice provides counseling for individuals with a wide range of mental health concerns. You can contact us today to schedule a meeting with a therapist in Los Angeles.