by Kristen I. Speer, M.S., LPC
In case you’ve ever wondered if you could benefit from psychotherapy, counseling, or mental health treatment, here is a list of 10 signs that may help you decide. Please note that this is not an exhaustive list, but some warning signs that I often see in my practice that indicate the need for outside support.
1. You have given up on things getting better.
You are starting to feel hopeless and are resigned to the belief that your life is awful and things will never improve. This may be due to situational experiences or the chronic belief that you will never be happy. You feel like life happens to you and you’re just along for the ride.
2. You don’t think anyone understands.
You believe that no one can possibly relate to your experiences and how you feel. You are afraid of judgment, criticism, or the risk of others knowing your problems.
3. Your support system is tired of hearing your problems. Or you don’t have a support system.
You feel like your friends and family have grown weary of your negativity and crises. You continue to hear the same advice from them or are told to “get over it”. You feel like you don’t have anyone to talk to or who cares about what you’re experiencing.
4. Your day-to-day responsibilities are being neglected.
You’re missing work, staying in bed too long, or just not taking care of yourself. You feel like you’re in a fog and just going through the motions. You’re struggling to take care of your kids, attend appointments, and you don’t find joy in anything.
5. You’re overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
You have so many decisions to make you don’t even know where to begin. They can be major life-changing decisions or just the day-to-day decisions that make you feel completely helpless.
6. Your emotions are out of control.
You feel like you’re on an emotional roller coaster. You don’t know how you’re going to feel from one minute to the next and you never know what is going to trigger a change.
7. Other people are commenting on your moods or behavior.
Your coworkers keep asking you if everything’s okay. Your boss has made comments about your work performance. Your significant other tells you you’re irritable or impossible to get along with. Your friends no longer call you or invite you to events.
8. You have a family history of mental illness.
Your mother was depressed, your grandfather was anxious, or there is substance abuse in your family history. Many mental health disorders have a genetic component, not to mention the secondary effects of being raised by a parent who was depressed or an alcoholic, for example.
9. You are self-medicating.
Your Friday night glass of wine has now turned into a bottle of wine. You are smoking again or you’re taking your prescription medication more often than prescribed. You find that you are unable to go to sleep without taking something.
10. You have experienced one or more life changes in a short period of time.
You have separated, you have a new job, your dog died, or someone in your family has been diagnosed with a chronic illness. You have graduated from school, moved away from your family, or experienced an injury. All of these events can have an impact on your moods and functioning. More than one life change can increase the chance of experiencing adjustment-related symptoms.
If you can relate to any of the above, you may benefit from counseling. We all need a little help along the way and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. And remember, if you change nothing, nothing will change.
Kristen Speer is a Licensed Professional Counselor and is accepting new patients. If you need Individual Therapy in Fayetteville, please contact Kristen Speer at 479-444-1400 or visit her website at kristenspeerlpc.com.