7 signs that you could need Therapy
“Be careful don’t add sugar in Ganapathy’s tea. He is diabetic”, said Venu uncle to his wife.
I think I might have been 7 or 8 years old when I heard this statement.
Many days later I heard another aunt talk about my dad’s health. Here’s what she said to me, “Jaya don’t give your dad tension. He is a heart patient.”
Anyone who visited us, spoke about dad’s health and how he should be more careful about what he eats and his sleep habits and how he should live without stress.
However, the same people advised my dad to visit an astrologer when it came to my emotional outbursts.
“Stop acting out…” I remember my dad yelling at me, one Sunday afternoon when I was crying uncontrollably. I struggled to sleep and eat after my mom’s death. I was 11 and everyone around thought that it was because of puberty.
Years passed by and I struggled to sleep, eat and had suicidal thoughts, however those were attention seeking behaviors according to my family.
So, it was ignored.
I remember it was in my late twenties when my gynaecologist referred me to a psychiatrist stating that I might have clinical depression and it turned out to be true as per the psychiatrist’s diagnosis.
He put me under antidepressants which worked for a while. However, the suicidal thoughts persisted.
That’s when I opted for therapy.
When it comes to physical health, we immediately seek help. We don’t wait for the fractured bone to set by itself, do we? We visit the orthopedic, get an X-ray, and get a plaster immediately, don’t we?
What if we gave the same importance to our brain health?
Many people ask me this question — “Gayatri when should one seek therapy?”
And I thought let me answer this today.
I’m sure we can handle life’s challenges by ourselves and bounce back, however sometimes seeking professional help could be useful. Like I could learn swimming on my own however with the help of a coach, I can learn faster and master the nuances of the craft.
Through therapy one can learn more about one’s brain and its functions. Having the knowledge, tools and professional guidance could help us navigate through life’s challenges.
Here are few signs that you may need therapy —
You’re going through transition-
I remember when my dad remarried, I wasn’t prepared to welcome my stepmom. I didn’t share a great relationship with my biological mom, yet I felt that I wasn’t ready to connect with a stranger.
This led to mixed emotions and I remember I struggled to focus on my academics.
Some of the transitions could be
- Entering college
- Moving to a new city/country
- A new job or changing careers
- Starting a new business
- A terminal illness
Meeting a therapist when such major transitions happen could give you the strategies to move forward with clarity and courage.
You’ve experienced loss-
Grief is a powerful emotion and usually we don’t allow ourselves to feel the grief. Most of us get back to work or our everyday duties after the death of a loved one or a pet. The grief is usually pushed aside or bottled up. It’s not expressed and processed.
Loss could also be a financial one or could be felt when a relationship ends. Many a times experiencing loss could lead to unpleasant feelings.
Therapists are trained to guide and give you to tools to process the loss and truly move on.
You’ve experienced trauma-
If you grew up in an environment where you experienced physical, emotional, verbal or sexual abuse then that rewires your brain.
Seeking help from a professional could guide you to process the emotional impact of trauma and maybe reduce the intensity of the feelings associated with the event.
I remember I was scared of riding a scooter. The mere thought of riding a scooter, would make me feel weak. I’d sweat even when I sat behind someone on a scooter or a bike. This was phobia (an intensified fear)
If you have any kind of phobia, then seeking professional guidance could help you to manage the phobia in a better way.
Substance Abuse or Addictions-
If you are observing that you are addicted to alcohol, smoking or any kind of substance abuse then it may be time to reach out for help. Through therapy you may learn better coping mechanisms and gradually recover from the addiction.
You’ve trouble processing Emotions-
We are conditioned to control, fight or push aside emotions like anger, fear, guilt, shame or helplessness. When emotions are not processed or resolved, it may lead to unhealthy behaviors like overeating, skipping meals, sleeplessness, distorted thoughts, anxiety or self-harm.
When we constantly feel a particular emotion and are unable to regulate it ourselves, seeking therapy could be a better option. A therapist could guide you to process the emotions through various activities like journaling, mindfulness, questioning and reframing.
You’re feeling stuck/lost/confused-
There could be times when you feel stuck, lost, confused or are unable to take decisions. Maybe you lack clarity or feel like you need some direction in life. Seeking therapy or life coaching at such times could bring in new perspectives and give your more clarity to move ahead.
I believe each one of us could take the help of therapy or life coaching at some point in our lives. As we go to the gym or hire a personal trainer to work on our physical health, I feel it’s necessary to work with a therapist for our mental and emotional well-being.
The current situation in the world has put many people in emotional distress. Though the situation around looks challenging, help is available. I’m sharing few resources that could help you in this tough phase to process your emotions.
The Lightweaver Community is offering a Pandemic Pro-social Support Resource and all the sessions are free.
Here are few mental healthcare organizations offering support at affordable rates-
Please note that if you are experiencing suicidal thoughts then please seek immediate assistance from the following suicide helplines.
KIRAN, a 24×7 helpline- (1800–599–0019)
If you found this post useful then do consider sharing this with a loved one or a friend.
Love & Light,