Whether it’s on television, in the movies, or on social media, only ‘certain people’ are seen meeting with a mental health professional. This has led many to think that you have to experience some kind of crisis, be on the edge of a breakdown, or feel like “a crazy person,” to get yourself into counseling but that isn’t always the case. Counseling is not just for those extreme cases. In fact, meeting with a counselor regularly can help develop good mental health habits. Reaching out for help does not have to be a last resort. One of the best ways to maintain your mental health is to find a professional provider that specializes in areas you would benefit from. The question of whether or not you should enroll in counseling is a decision based on how you are feeling at the moment. What signs should you pay attention to that might encourage you to make that call and schedule an appointment with a counselor?
Here are five common signs that might help you decide if you should enroll in counseling.
- Feeling “not yourself.” We all have times where our mood is “off,” and we turn to things that help us feel better but when we begin to think, “this isn’t like me,” you may need to take a closer look. Sometimes we feel sad, angry or annoyed with things that happen but when it gets to a point where you conclude that this is out of your ordinary, it could be something more than just everyday emotions.
- You can’t do the things you like to do. Having hobbies or activities that you love to do can be a great way to balance your mental health, but it is important to look for signs that the way you are feeling is making it difficult or impossible to do them anymore. Again, if it is unlike you and you find it more and more difficult to get out, have fun or be social then you should reach out to get screened or assessed for possible mental health concerns.
- Using drugs, alcohol, food or sex to feel better. Just like having hobbies that can help us feel better, sometimes we engage in unhealthy habits to do the same thing and that is never a good idea. If you find yourself using drugs, alcohol, food or sex to feel better, have the desire to cut back, or it is impacting your daily life then beginning counseling could be helpful to make sure you reduce the long term negative effects.
- You’ve lost someone or something important to you. Perhaps your family or culture has certain rituals, traditions or expectations when it comes to the death of a loved one. Human beings adapt very well and sometimes your natural support system are all you need to get through loss, but other times, it could be a good idea to reach out for counseling for support with adjusting to the unexpected change. Remember, loss isn’t just about death. It could be a separation or break up, moving, or losing your job.
- Something traumatic has happened. Trauma can be any event that you thought was awful, scary or threatening like an accident, injury, sudden death, abuse, violence, and/or a natural disaster. Experiencing events like these are linked to a higher risk of substance use, chronic health problems, and mental health disorders like depression or anxiety. The sooner you reach out for help to get through events like these the better you will be, but remember it is never too late.
If you are experiencing any of these signs, our expert counseling team at NOAH is here to help. The most important thing to remember is that counseling is for anyone. At NOAH we are trying to stop the stigma that counseling is only for severe situations. Talking to a mental health professional regularly is like going to the gym for your mind. Having someone that you trust, that has professional exerience, and is there for you when you need them is a great feeling. Once you go to counseling a few times, you may begin to notice a positive difference in your mood or even a desire to do the things you once used to love to do.
As always, if you, or anyone has thoughts or feelings of wanting to hurt themselves please reach out as quickly as you can. Remember, through reaching out for help you are just taking care of your mental health, and taking care of your mental health is just as essential as taking care of your physical health. Call 480-882-4545 to schedule an appointment with a NOAH provider today.
Call or text 988 if you are in distress. The 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline is available 24/7 and is free to anyone experiencing crisis.