A few decades ago, therapy had a heavy stigma associated with it – you only go to therapy if you’re “really sick.”
Nowadays, we know that’s not true. In fact, 19% of American adults received some form of mental health treatment in 2019. This included people who actually spoke to a therapist, as well as those who took medication to help with their mental health.
Now we come to you. Maybe you’ve been tossing around the idea of going to therapy, but don’t really know if it will help you. Let’s go over a few things that therapy can help with, and then you can make that final decision.
Do you find yourself feeling far more anxious than the situation calls for? Do you work up a sweat when thinking of confrontation or does your heart start racing? Do you have a hard time nailing down why exactly you’re anxious?
Anxiety is a normal part of life. But for many of us, anxiety can take over our mind and distract us from the other things that matter in life, and even impact us physically.
You may have a hard time sleeping if you’re struggling with an anxiety disorder. You may be overly tense, or your stomach could be having issues from all the deep-seeded worry.
And you’re not alone if you are experiencing these anxious feelings. Over 40 million adults in the U.S. struggle with some form of anxiety.
Therapy can help you begin to learn where that anxiety comes from. A therapist can also give you tools you can practice to relieve your anxiety when it springs up, and teach you mindful practices that will lessen your anxiety overall.
Again, sadness is a natural emotion to experience. However, when that sadness moves to a deeper level of hopelessness, depression may be at play.
While a therapist will be able to diagnose if you do have depression, there are a few questions you can start asking yourself to get a better idea.
Do you have feelings of worthlessness? Self-hate? Have you lost interest in things you used to love? Do you isolate yourself from your loved ones?
Another symptom that can accompany depression is thoughts, or actions, of self-harm. If you are experiencing any immediate thoughts of suicidal action, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
But if you’re not experiencing immediate thoughts of self-harm, a therapist could be the perfect person to help you start to remove yourself from the cloud of depression. They can guide you through understanding where your depression may be stemming from, as well as prescribe anti-depressant medication that can help get your head to a clearer place.
Many people who experienced trauma don’t get the help they need. In fact, many people whose trauma negatively impacts their life don’t know they need help.
They may chalk their nightmares up to something they ate. Or their predisposition to always be on edge could just be “how they’re wired.”
However, for those that remember their trauma and know its triggering power, they could experience flashbacks to the event or be easily startled and get upset quickly.
Others think that they just have to live with their trauma or PTSD. They can’t imagine not living with it, so they don’t seek out options to try.
Therapists can help begin to peel back the layers of trauma and help you release any guilt or shame you’re feeling. Some therapists are trained in modalities that are specially designed for people who experienced trauma. A popular one is called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR). EMDR essentially removes the “block” in our brain that the traumatic event has created, and helps our thought process move away from reliving that event and moving toward a more balanced mental health.
Many people who have an addiction never thought they’d find themselves in this position. Maybe they just drank a few glasses of wine with dinner – and that eventually turned into 8 glasses. Or maybe they were prescribed pain medication for their ankle surgery, and now they’re overusing their pills.
Whatever the source of the addiction was, it’s important not to blame yourself for it. Life happens, and there’s nothing we can do about the past. When you accept where you are right now, you’re able to move toward healing yourself.
This is where a therapist comes into the picture. A therapist can help you understand the deeper reasons behind your addictive behavior, whether that be anxiety, depression, trauma, or other mental health disorders.
However, if you are physically dependent on a substance, a therapist won’t be able to help you detox. To do this, you should speak with a medical doctor and consider attending a private rehab center, like The Exclusive Hawaii, to fully overcome your addiction.
While grief can sometimes be connected with trauma, grief can also be a beast all on its own. Because while grief will typically naturally start to lessen, for many people they get caught in a grief bubble, unable to move on in their lives.
A therapist can help you learn how to honor the loved one who passed, while also making sure you’re living your life and taking care of yourself in the way the person would have wanted.
Many people think about the mental health reasons why therapy is beneficial. However, the benefits of therapy reach beyond mental health disorders.
If someone is experiencing problems in their marriage, their first instinct is likely to try to work it out on their own. But when you’ve tried that route and you’re still arguing all the time, a therapist is a great meditator to turn to.
There are therapists who specialize specifically in marital issues. They’re called Marriage and Family Therapists, and they work with couples or families by looking at the whole family dynamic and helping the individuals work through the issues that are arising.
No matter why you’re looking into therapy, know that for the vast majority of people, therapy is a good option. Even if you don’t struggle with severe depression or have family issues, it’s incredibly comforting to be able to fully open up to a person, and have them nonjudgmentally listen.