It's Time: 10 Ways to Know It's Time to Find a Therapist

A few months ago I wrote about how and why you should invest in your mental health. If you missed it, you can check it out here. But how do you know when it’s finally time to take that investment a step further and try therapy?

1. Realizing something needs to change but nothing is working.

Maybe you’ve been irritable with loved ones, but can’t stop. Or maybe you really want to reach out to someone but you’re afraid. Perhaps you’ve lost interest in the things you used to love, but no matter what you do you can’t get motivated. Having a therapist who you can share these goals and frustrations can relieve this feeling. A good therapist should help you sort through what you’d like to change, formulate goals, and help you reach them.

2. You can’t shake the feeling that something terrible might happen.

When’s the other shoe going to drop? We have all felt this… and it sucks! You just started a new relationship with a wonderful person, but you’re just waiting for them to become toxic for you. You got promoted, but you know they’re waiting for you to fail. These thoughts can eat you alive and stop you from living your life! Therapy can address these anxieties, give you practical tools to stop these thoughts, and replace them with more adaptive and motivating ideas.

3. You feel haunted by the past, and it’s really hard to feel better about it.

We’ve all fallen down, failed, or been hurt. Some more than others. Chances are you feel stuck by something in your past. Maybe it’s one memory, or maybe it’s several. It’s not strange to feel that something in your past is holding you back, but it certainly feels frustrating. There are various types of therapy, like EMDR that can help you get unstuck and leave your past in the past. Or as Pumba would say…


4. Something doesn’t feel right, but you can’t pinpoint what it is.

Just feeling generally crummy and not knowing why can be so frustrating. That bad attitude just won’t go away, you crave being sad, you look through your old Facebook pictures every night and judge yourself. Why in the world do we do this? Well, that’s something a therapist can help you answer. Sometimes something is buried deep and it takes some help finding the source, and other times it can be a number of little things. Having a therapist to support you through this process can not only help you feel better, but help you identify patterns and problems in your life that you may have never seen before.

5. Your distancing yourself from your friends and family.

Are you avoiding the people that love you the most? We do this all the time when we feel sad, ashamed, anxious, or tired. Maintaining relationships is already hard, but maintaining them when you’re not operating at 100% is even more difficult. Seeing a therapist can help you get back in your normal social groove while addressing problems in your life that make you feel alone.

6. Your racing mind is keep you up at night.

“I’m going to go to bed by 10pm tonight so I can wake up early, make breakfast, and get to work early!”
*10:12pm, crawling into bed*
”Go me! I’m in bed when I said I’d be, now time for some shut eye.”
*12:37am, staring at the ceiling worrying about tomorrow*
”I’ll just look at my phone for a while, that will help keep my mind off of things.”
*1:16am, still awake looking at phone*
”Ok, I’m putting my phone away and trying again.”
*2:48am, staring at the ceiling worrying about why you’re worrying about not sleeping*

Enough said, right? Chances are you’re not sleeping because something is wrong with you. You might be experiencing anxiety, depression, or stress. Therapists can help you sort through all of that mental clutter to help you get a better night’s sleep!

7. You’ve been avoiding something, and it’s getting in the way of you living your life.

You know that one restaurant you avoid because it reminds you of a painful relationship? Or that person at work, even though you need to have an important conversation? Or maybe you struggle with a phobia and you can’t even flip through the TV channels because you’re afraid of what you’ll see. It is so tough to live your life avoiding things that are distressing. Therapy can help you face those fears and challenges, and reduce how distressed you feel in the face of them. A good therapist will get to know why this is so hard for you, and help you strategizes ways to get your normal life underway.

8. You don’t have the energy to help yourself anymore.

You’re just tired. It’s hard to get out of bed and it’s hard to take care of yourself. How are you going to pick up that self-help book? It doesn’t even seem possible to cook yourself a meal right now, let alone work on your mental health. You don’t have to do this alone. Finding a therapist might seem like a really tiring step - and it can be! If you’d like a free consultation and some help in finding a therapist near you, please reach out. You don’t have to do this alone, and there are people who can share the load with you.

9. You’re afraid your friends and family won’t understand what you’re going through.

It’s just too embarrassing or burdening, and you don’t feel comfortable sharing with people who may not give you the attention you need. Well, this is the job of a therapist! Every session, you get undivided attention dedicated to reaching your goals, getting over problems, and working towards being your best self. Maybe you have a couple friends who wouldn’t understand, but a good therapist will!

10. Your worry is getting so out of control, you feel it in your body.

Sweaty palms, racing heart, dizziness, difficulty breathing, heavy limbs… sound familiar? Some people carry stress, depression, and anxiety in their body more than others. Sometimes it feels like you’re fine until you get stomach problems, and then you’re sent into a panic. This is a terrible feeling, but there is hope for you! Therapy and types of treatment like EMDR can help reduce these body sensations and help you live the life you’ve always wanted.