Everybody has their issues. Most of us can manage them well enough to get by day-to-day. However, some of us need an extra push. I found myself struggling for years before I realized that I needed a professional to help me out. Here are signs I saw that showed I needed to see a therapist.
My Emotions Were All Over The Place
I didn’t immediately realize that my emotions were all over the place. After all, it’s difficult to notice things about yourself immediately unless someone points it out. But when I did, I saw that it was difficult for me to manage my feelings. When I was angry, I was furious and impatient. When I was sad, I didn’t get out of bed until I was late for work.
I realize what Sarah Rumpf, MA, LPCC used to say, “You’re considering therapy because something doesn’t feel right. You want relief, healing, or increased insight.” I sought help to be able to take control of my emotions better. This commitment meant having to deal with sadness and anger healthily. We don’t have to feel happy all the time – that’s unnatural. We have to learn how to express negative emotions in a way that doesn’t hurt others or ourselves.
I Lost Interest In My Hobbies
When it came to hobbies I loved, I can tell you that I had a long list of them. I played sports, went to the movies, read books daily, and wasn’t so bad when it came to video games either. However, I slowly lost interest in these activities over time. I didn’t pick up the controller anymore, barely got through a couple of pages of a book, and stopped going outside to play.
Somehow, my favorite past times didn’t feel the same. They didn’t give me the feeling of joy as they used to. I first thought that I was only too caught up with work to enjoy them properly. Sometimes, I felt that I outgrew some of my hobbies.
But when I started seeing a therapist, these feelings improved. I picked up a book and got to finish it. I went to see movies with friends again. It wasn’t that these things didn’t make me happy anymore. I had problems that I needed to deal with first so that I could accept the joy that my hobbies bring.
I Had Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms
Everyone one of us has a way of coping with stress or sadness. Some of us like to go out with friends and or take some time off to ourselves. And then there are those people who turn to harmful activities to deal with what life throws at them. Jennifer Bradley, Psy.D., HSPP, Clinical Psychologist once said, “When we are imbalanced, we develop various types of difficulties, including psychological and/or physical symptoms, and we begin to use ineffective or damaging coping mechanisms.” I agree!
My unhealthy coping mechanism was spending and avoiding the problems I had. Alcohol also seemed to be a constant in my life at some point. When I felt like I had a bad day at work, I’d tell myself that I deserved a drink or a new pair of shoes. These would cheer me up for a while, but I was ultimately running away from the issue.
Thankfully, seeing a therapist helped me find healthier ways of dealing with problems. Clearing my head with meditation and exercise was better than numbing it with alcohol. Learning to be brave enough to confront the problem also kept me from overspending and compulsive purchases.
Bad Days Turned Into Weeks
It started as a rough day at work. Then this problem turned into a bad week. From there, I found that I was having a tough couple of weeks – yes, plural – in general. We all know that it’s normal to go through a rough patch. But when you see that it’s been difficult for a long time now, it may be time to ask for professional help.
My Friends And Family Pointed It Out
Many of us like to keep our problems to ourselves. You want to know that you can keep things under control, right? But as someone else starts to notice, you know it’s a big problem.
At some point, my best friend and I were hanging out when she pointed out that she was concerned for me. This comment surprised me as I thought I was handling my issues well enough for others not to notice. My best friend told me she saw me becoming moodier and picking up a few harmful habits such as drinking. This experience was a wake-up call that I needed to do something – see a therapist. “Finding a therapist is the first step in helping to crawl out from under depression.” Susan Block, LMFT said. Well, she was right.
It’s important to point out that our experiences are different from one another. I sought professional help because I found myself struggling in many ways. These issues included not being able to manage my emotions, losing interest in my hobbies, drinking, overspending, and being generally unhappy for weeks.
It took one friend to point it out for me to realize that I needed to see a therapist. I see now what a good move it was to do so as I’ve set myself on the road to getting better. Thanks to the help I’m getting, I can work on regaining control over all aspects of my life.