Do I Need a Therapist? Here are 7 Signs

Most people believe that therapy is reserved only for individuals who are experiencing extreme dysfunction. But what about those people who are able to function “normally,” but still have that feeling that something is not quite right? Below is a list of signs that you may benefit from talking to a professional, AKA a therapist.

1. You have trouble sleeping at night due to racing thoughts.

Let me set the stage: You head to bed early as an attempt to get some solid sleep. You slowly watch the minutes and hours tick by as your brain reviews everything you need to get done the next day. Simultaneously, you’re dwelling about everything you did wrong in the past 6-10 years. Before you know it, the clock reads 4:26am. You’re exhausted, but you’re wide awake, and you have to be up for work in 2 hours.

This is one of those very frustrating yet all too common situations. If it’s occurring on a regular basis, it may be time to talk to a professional. Not only will therapy help you get to the root of your anxious thoughts, you’ll also learn tools and techniques to manage them. And, you will be on your way to getting a good night’s sleep.

2. You’ve experienced a major life event (move to a new city, break-up, job loss, etc.) and are still struggling to adjust.

It’s normal for an individual to need some time to adjust after experiencing a major life change. But when that period of time seems to be taking too long or feels unbearable, it may be time to talk to a professional in order to process and move forward.

3. Everyone seems to be moving forward in their lives, and you feel like you’re being left behind. 

The social clock is a real phenomenon. It is the unspoken timeline created by society that tells you when major life events are expected to occur, such as getting married, having kids, or moving up in your career. And the fact that we are constantly inundated with these life updates on social media doesn’t help.

If you are finding that everyone seems to be hitting milestone after milestone, and you feel “a certain kind of way” about it, you could benefit from talking with someone professional.

A psychotherapist can help you feel more at peace with where you are in your life right now, and help you learn how to stop comparing yourself to others.

4.  Friends and/or family members have said you should talk to someone professional.

This one is huge. Your support network knows you best, and if the most important people in your life are suggesting you talk to a professional, it’s probably because: 

A) They want what is best for you.

B) You’ve talked their ears off about a certain issue and they don’t know what to do to help.

C) They themselves have been to therapy and know firsthand how beneficial it can be.

D) All of the above. 

5. You feel isolated or alone.

Single, married, wanting to be in a relationship, or not – it doesn’t matter – loneliness is part of the human experience. We’ve all been there. A psychotherapist can support you as you move through these uncomfortable emotions and help you to uncover ways to cope when they do arise.

6. You find yourself turning to alcohol and/or drugs excessively, and it’s creating more harm than good.

It’s one thing to go out to a bar with friends on a Saturday night, or have a glass of wine at dinner, but it is another to be binge drinking several nights (or more) each week. This could be an indication that you are numbing some kind of pain or insecurity through self-medication. Although it may feel good in the moment, these actions could result in damaged relationships, health issues, and other long-term consequences.  

7. You feel stuck.

You’re bored with your same routine but don’t know what to do to change things up. Life seems fine on the surface, but you have this nagging feeling that it could be better. Talking to a therapist can help you figure out what you want out of life, and how to get it.

Seeking help is by no means a sign of weakness. It is a brave action you can take to gain self-awareness, be more present, practice self-care, and improve your quality of life.

If you’re feeling ready to talk to someone, please feel free to reach out to make a phone consultation here.


About the author:

Paige Rechtman is a licensed psychotherapist based in Brooklyn, NY. She helps treat young professionals with anxiety, despression, and self-esteem issues.

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