Some people are unsure if they need to seek therapy or not. Maybe you’ve been having a tough time lately, or friends and family have been suggesting you “talk to somebody.” I know from experience that taking that first step in asking for help can be nerve-racking. People go to therapy for any and all reasons, ranging from minor life struggles to severe mental illnesses. Seeing a therapist does not mean you’re crazy!
You may benefit from therapy if you experience any of the following:
- Grief or bereavement after death of a loved one
- Problems adjusting to a change in life (moving, having a child, starting a new job, etc.)
- Career uncertainty
- General anxiety — mild to severe
- Social anxiety
- Depression or depressive symptoms — mild to severe
- If you or a loved one has thoughts of hurting yourself or others, please seek help ASAP–including calling 911, if necessary
- Struggling to recover after a break-up
- Traumatic experiences — experienced or witnessed — past or present
- Any diagnosed mental illness
- Substance use problems — self or family
- Disordered eating, including over-eating
- Low self-esteem
- Issues accepting sexuality or sexual preferences
- Trouble staying motivated or reaching goals
- Marriage or relationship issues
The above list is far from exhaustive. I want to note that it’s possible to have a psychological struggle without being diagnosed with a mental disorder. For example, you may want help overcoming some anxiety even if you don’t meet full criteria for an anxiety disorder–and that’s okay. Your therapist will “meet you where you’re at” and work with you on accomplishing your goals, regardless of what they are. However, some insurance companies require a “diagnosis” for billing purposes. In those cases, your therapist will have to put something down in the diagnosis box, and you have the right to be fully informed on that process.
The main point I wanted to get across in this post is seeing a therapist is okay and completely normal. I know plenty of “functional” people, myself included, who have sought therapy for one reason or another. Therapy isn’t an “exclusive club” for individuals struggling with mental illness, but a welcoming space that can benefit anyone who needs a little extra support.
What was it like when you first decided to go to therapy? Or are you still on the fence?