Mental health has been something of a taboo subject, but thankfully times are now changing, and people becoming more willing to talk about the problems that they are experiencing. However, even though we are becoming more understanding of mental illness, suffers are still often unsure when they should seek help, overlooking that the sooner you seek advice, the sooner you will start to feel better.
We have psychologists available at our Fitzroy, Melbourne branch, trained to help before you become overcome by your problems. Here are five key indicators that suggest you should see a therapist.
Your problem is causing ongoing distress
If your problem is causing you significant distress and affecting your daily life, regardless of if that is at school, home or in the workplace, it is time to seek professional help. Often the symptoms include a lack of enthusiasm, poor concentration or perhaps even a sense of just being overwhelmed and unable to cope. You may be finding interactions with friends, family and colleagues difficult or distressing; you may even be avoiding interactions altogether.
You have tried other things but to no avail
Self-help is a step that most people adopt when they feel anxious for a considerable period. Naturally, you will want to reverse your symptoms that may include depression, lethargy or in the worst case, hopelessness. We rely on our own coping skills, but sometimes they aren’t enough.
Often people will talk with friends and family; take up exercise or Google their symptoms. In the worst cases, people self-medicate with alcohol and drugs to try and relieve the symptoms without realising that they are making the situation worse. If nothing is working and offering no lasting benefit, then you will almost certainly benefit from seeing a psychologist who will be able to sit down and discuss your problems.
No one seems interested in your problems
In times of trouble, our friends and family are usually the first people that we turn to. These are the people who are there in both the good and the bad times. They can lend an ear, offer a shoulder to cry on, as well as give helpful and practical advice. The problems occur, however, when your problems start to overwhelm these people.
Often these people will start to pull away from you, stop replying to messages or ignore your phone calls. Their behaviour seems uncharacteristic, but in reality, they are beginning to become overburdened by your issues. Your support network has become exhausted, and now you NEED to resort to professionals, who are trained to offer the tools and techniques you need to cope, and more importantly, recover.
Self-abuse or abusing others
We have already touched upon this point, but often people become dependent on mood-altering substances such as alcohol, tobacco and prescription or non-prescription drugs. You may even have started self-harming to gain the attention that you may feel is missing or to take your mind off things. Taking these approaches is a common sign that something is significantly wrong in your life and needs addressing.
Something just as bad as self-abuse is when you start to abuse others. You turn your angst or anger on those closest to you. It can be physical abuse or more commonly, it is mental abuse, lashing out that inevitably causes misery and upset in a vain attempt to feel better about yourself. Any benefit that is felt will be extremely short-lived and only work to destroy your support network even further.
Others have noticed
We may be aware that something is wrong but have tried to brush it off or even ignore it. However, hiding something from yourself is often easier than hiding something from those close to you. Has a family member or friend asked you if you are OK, have they even suggested that you seek help, or have they just told you straight out that something is not quite right? Whether it has been pointed out is irrelevant; it is just another sign of you needing to talk to a psychologist.
If work colleagues have noticed, it may be a sign that your work is starting to suffer. If this is the case, it may put your job in jeopardy and cause you further problems further down the line.