Okay, that sounds a bit strict – ‘need therapy’ is perhaps not the expression. Benefit from therapy perhaps? Because to be honest I’m sure plenty of us could benefit from therapy now and again. Despite what it said in this awful self-help book, I don’t think depression is ‘comfortable’ and I don’t think anyone should feel ashamed about getting help with difficult feelings or situations.
I’ve had at least half a dozen batches of therapy over the years, all at times in my life where I’ve felt the need of some outside support. It’s always been beneficial, whether it’s just somewhere to go for an hour a week to cry and offload, or to help me focus on more specific outcomes.
I’ve been considering therapy again recently and have been trying to think about the triggers that make me realise it’s something I could benefit from, in the hope that it might help other people to recognise when it might be a good time to find a therapist. If you’re worried about the impact of coronavirus on therapy, don’t be – there are plenty of great online therapy services like BetterHelp that can offer support via text messages, phone and video calls.
For me personally, these are four of the key signs that I need therapy:
I feel overwhelmed over a long period of time
Overwhelm is one of the key signs for me that I need some extra support or to offload some worries. As a single parent particularly this is a biggie as you don’t have another adult around to share responsibility with – all of the parenting decisions are down to you. All of the care is down to you. It’s okay if this feels a bit much on certain days, but if this goes on for a period of time it can really get me down.
I’m reluctant to talk to friends or family
This can be a subtler one, but if I find myself withdrawing from loved ones it’s often because subliminally I feel like I’ve already put too much on them and that they won’t want to hear me moaning anymore. Often this means I see less of people, for fear that I’ll bring too much negative energy to a meet up.
When I start to feel like I’m putting too much pressure on others, it’s a sure sign I could benefit from having an outsider to share my feelings with instead.
I lose motivation for the things I normally love
It’s so sad isn’t it when the things that normally bring you joy just don’t? If I’m out for brunch and the poached eggs aren’t doing anything to lift my spirits then I know something is wrong. I can also find I lose motivation for things generally, like work or taking care of the house.
I feel trapped
I think this is part of the feeling of overwhelm, but it’s a general feeling of being stuck in a certain situation or trapped by circumstances that feel outside of my control. Often this manifests itself as resentment towards whoever or whatever I feel is trapping me, and an urge to run away. Coronavirus has brought out a lot of these feelings for me, making me feel restricted and under pressure.
I recently spent quite a long time thinking about the logistics of going off grid and becoming untraceable, which is absolutely a sign that I could do with some therapy, or at least a holiday!
Do any of these sound familiar? What are the things that you notice in yourself when you need some extra support?