'Should I go to therapy?' The answer may be yes.
If you feel overwhelmed with life, anxious, depressed, or stressed, you may have asked yourself, should I go to therapy? The short answer is yes, a mental health professional can probably help you feel better. If you're struggling with your mental health, you should know you aren't alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, about 20% of Americans live with mental health conditions.
Therapy is good for many reasons
Therapy helps millions of people overcome a wide range of mental health issues. Professionals can help you learn effective ways of dealing with the stresses and difficulties of daily life, work through trauma, handle intrusive thoughts, cope with illnesses and grief, and manage or improve mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety.
Determining if you should go to therapy is a personal decision. However, many people who go to treat mental health problems find it beneficial. In fact, research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality shows certain types of therapy can be as effective as taking anti depression medication for some people.
Signs you might need therapy
The American Psychological Association offers two general guidelines you can follow to help determine if you would benefit from therapy.
First, identify how distressing the problem is. Ask yourself:
· Do you spend a lot of time weekly thinking about the problem?
· Does the problem cause embarrassment or make you want to avoid social activities or being around others?
· Has the problem reduced your quality of life?
Next, determine whether the problem interferes with some aspect of your life.
· Does the problem take up considerable time in your day?
· Has the problem interfered in your work or educational ambitions?
· Have you rearranged your lifestyle to accommodate the problem?
If you answer "yes" to any of these questions, seeking therapy is a smart move. Getting help from a professional therapist can help you gain a better understanding of and control over your mental health.
If you're ready to take steps toward improving your mental health, it's time for therapy. Therapy doesn't have to be for big problems only. A therapist can help you work through a variety of mental health issues, no matter how big or small they seem.
According to the American Mental Wellness Association, talk therapy with a qualified mental health professional can help you:
· Come up with goals you want to achieve and create steps to achieve them
· Cope with all types of stress
· Identify and understand what triggers negative feelings
· Improve relationships with others while you're dealing with your mental illness
· Overcome your fears and insecurities
· Process difficulties from previous trauma
· Recognize and remove obstacles to good mental health
· Understand the differences between you and the symptoms of your mental illness
Specific reasons to seek therapy
People go to therapy for many different reasons. Here are four, according to the National Institute of Mental Health:
· Your healthcare provider suspects you have or diagnoses you with a mental health disorder that affects or interferes with your life.
· You're dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or severe or long-term stress from a job or family situation, the death of a loved one, or problems in your relationship.
· You're having physical health symptoms without a medical explanation, including changes in sleep or appetite, reduced energy levels, avoiding social activities you once enjoyed, irritability, constant worry, and feeling hopeless.
· You're supporting a family member, child, spouse, or other loved one who has been diagnosed with a mental health disorder.
Different types of therapy
Many different types of mental health treatment involve talk therapy. They include:
· Cognitive behavioral therapy — This short-term therapy lasts anywhere from six to 20 sessions. It's designed to help you change your behavior and how you react to your thoughts.
· Dialectical behavior therapy — This cognitive-behavioral adapted therapy can help you learn how to cope with stress, regulate your emotions, and improve your relationships by accepting yourself and changing unwanted or negative behavior.
· Humanistic therapy — This therapy helps you explore your entire self rather than just the problems bothering you. It's designed to help you grow, live your life to the fullest, and be true to yourself.
· Psychodynamic therapy — This therapy helps you explore your childhood experiences or the psychological roots of problems and how your unconscious mind can influence your thoughts, feelings, relationships, and behaviors. It involves allowing you to talk freely about what's on your mind and how your childhood feelings and experiences affect your current relationships, and it provides new perspectives on the issues you're struggling to overcome.
All these types of therapy can help you find relief from symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as many other mental health problems, including PTSD, addiction, and eating disorders. Some can also be used in couples therapy to help you and your partner work through issues in your relationship.
Don't let mental health problems keep you from enjoying your life. Join the millions of others who are managing mental health issues with professional therapists.
Reid Health can help you take control of your mental health. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and to learn how our team of experienced providers can help you move forward with your life.