Everyone has seen the media’s portrayal of therapy. It’s for people who are really, dangerously ill. They go and lie on a couch, and explain all of their problems to someone who just nods and takes notes.
Therapy isn’t like that at all. It’s a dynamic and useful process, that can really help you when the going gets tough. How do you know when it’s time to look into therapy?
You Don’t Need to Be Mentally Ill To Need Help
The biggest misconception out there is that you have to have a diagnosed mental illness in order to benefit from therapy. In fact, that isn’t true at all. Anyone who’s dealing with any hardship in their life can benefit from talking to a professional. If you’re struggling at work, feel like your relationships are taking the strain, or just have a low mood more often than not, it’s worth a try.
It’s actually often better to go to a therapist sooner rather than later. You probably don’t have any serious problems, but a therapist can spot it if something is wrong. Just like physical illnesses, the sooner they’re treated, the better.
Know The Difference Between Practitioners
If you’ve gone looking for therapists, you’ll know that there are three different types: psychiatrists, psychotherapists, and counselors. Here’s the difference between them.
- Psychiatrists: A psychiatrist is a mental health professional that can carry out tests others can’t. For example, they can order blood tests or CAT scans, to help understand you and your health. They’re able to prescribe medication if that’s something they feel may help you.
- Psychologists: A psychologist is somebody who studies the way people think. They’ll work with people who need help understanding and changing their thought patterns.
- Counselors: This role is very similar to the psychologist, in that their job is to create a safe space in order for you to talk about your feelings, and how they affect you.
How To Know When You Need Help
There’s several times when it’s clear that you may benefit from therapy:
- If you’re feeling intense emotions, that can change suddenly and leave you feeling drained or panicked.
- If you’re using substances, such as alcohol, to deal with your feelings.
- If you’ve been through a trauma and are now struggling to continue with your life.
- If you’re finding it harder to maintain your relationships with friends or loved ones.
- If you can’t enjoy activities that once brought you happiness.
- If your friends or family have told you they’re concerned about you.
If you choose to get help, know that you’re not bound to the professional you first see. You need to build a trusting relationship with them, and if your personalities clash then the sessions won’t do anything for you. Don’t be afraid to ask for a different therapist.
With this guide, you can see that there are several times when therapy could really help you. It’s always worth giving it a shot. In the long run, you could really help your mental health.
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