According to the National Institute of Mental Health, nearly one in five US adults live with a mental health condition but only 44.8% received mental health services in 2019. People often avoid seeking mental health treatment due to lack of access to affordable care, concerns about mental-illness-related stigma or because they think their condition is not severe enough to warrant therapy. These are likely to be the same people who wouldn’t hesitate to seek help for their physical health.
This blog looks at 10 reasons for starting therapy and explains how to find a therapist if you, or someone you know, need professional help.
How to know if you should start therapy
There are many benefits of therapy, but how do you know if it’s right for your situation? People often think they need to be in crisis to seek professional support. However, it’s important to get therapy before you reach crisis point. Typically, the earlier that mental health issues are addressed, the better the outcome. There are lots of reasons for seeing a therapist and all of them are equally valid.
Here are 10 common reasons to start therapy:
- You have relationship issues
No relationship is perfect; every close bond has its ups and downs. However, sometimes relationships with friends or family can become so strained that it’s impossible to see a way through your problems. Therapy offers a supportive and non-judgmental environment to help resolve any difficulties you’re facing such as communication breakdown, commitment issues or fear of intimacy. See our Counseling Directory for specialists in Couples Therapy.
2. You’ve experienced trauma
You don’t need to have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to justify therapy for trauma. If any traumatic experience – either recent or in the past – is negatively affecting your life and making you avoid people, places and activities that trigger or worsen your symptoms, it’s time to seek professional help.
3. Your emotions are interfering with your life
We all feel down from time to time but if you feel constantly stressed, anxious, depressed, angry or overwhelmed, and these emotions are interfering with your everyday life, therapy is likely to be beneficial. It’s particularly important to seek help if you feel controlled by your feelings or if they could cause harm to yourself or those around you.
4. You’re battling with addiction
Without effective treatment, addiction can be a lifelong struggle and lead to additional mental and physical health problems. If you, or a loved one, are addicted to drugs or alcohol – or battling any type of process addiction such as gaming disorder, gambling addiction, sex addiction, porn addiction or binge eating disorder – and it’s negatively affecting your life, early support is key to recovery.
5. You’re grieving
There’s no right or wrong way to feel when you’ve been bereaved. Grief is not limited to feelings of shock and sadness. It can also involve guilt, regret, anger, confusion or even relief. Therapy can help you process and cope with your loss – whether you’re grieving for a friend, family member, relationship, pet or something else that you held dear.
6. You’re struggling to cope at work
The average person will spend 90,000 hours at work in their lifetime. Therefore, any problems or issues can have a huge impact on your mental health and well-being. If you’re stressed at work, worried about disclosing a mental health condition or experiencing a toxic working environment, therapy can give you strategies to cope.
7. You have physical symptoms of stress
Long-term stress can cause headaches, neck and shoulder pain; weaken the immune system; disrupt the digestive system; put pressure on the muscular system; and increase the risk of heart attacks. Chronic stress can also make sufferers more vulnerable to depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. If you, or a loved one, feel constantly overwhelmed by stress and it’s impacting your physical and mental health, these are signs to start seeing a therapist. Learn more by learning about 30 Signs of Stress.
8. You aren’t interested in activities you used to enjoy
Are you struggling to engage in activities that once brought you pleasure? We all feel bored and fed up sometimes but this is more deep rooted. Known as anhedonia, it can make you feel depressed, lethargic and unmotivated to do things that used to inspire you. If a general lack of interest in life is making it difficult to cope, therapy can help you re-engage in hobbies and pastimes you used to enjoy. If you want to find new hobbies try exploring this free hobby tool.
9. You feel overwhelmed by the pandemic
We’ve been living through unprecedented times since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and there’s still so much uncertainty about the future. You may be in a prolonged and heightened state of stress for a number of reasons – financially, emotionally, physically, professionally, environmentally and politically. If you need to unpack your worries in a safe and non-judgmental space, therapy could be the answer.
10. You want to talk to someone impartial
Therapy is not just for people experiencing mental health issues or coping with a major life event. There may be times when friends and family are too close to a delicate issue or important decision, and you want to talk to someone who’s impartial. This is when talking to a therapist in a confidential environment can help.
How to find a therapist
If you – or someone you know – are seeking mental health care, online therapy is a supportive space where you can share your issues with a trained professional.
At Kindbridge, we provide convenient, confidential and affordable teletherapy anytime, anywhere – all you need is an internet connection.
We will assess your needs and may recommend one evidence-based treatment approach or a combination of different methods – see our modalities.
Take the first step today – book your free 30-minute consultation and discover how therapy can help you.