- Mental Health
How To Know Whether You Need Therapy
Notice Repetitive Patterns
We all have repetitive behavior patterns and in some ways, they are an essential part of our identity. However, when these habits and patterns become self-destructive and we are unable to break out of it even though we are well aware of the consequences, it is time to consider therapy. An academic paper termed, 'There I Go Again: Understanding Repetitive Behavior Patterns' states, “The repetition compulsion is the tendency people have to unconsciously place themselves in situations, that are often unpleasant and that, in a sense, are repetitions of traumatic or conflict-ridden experiences from early childhood, even though the person feels their contemporary problems are entirely determined by the current circumstances.”
In such a situation, behavioral therapy can help the person to become conscious of such compulsions and gain insight into the motivations behind these patterns, thereby resolving old internal conflicts and improving decision making abilities.
Understanding Behavioral Therapy
Trying to Cope with Low Self Esteem
You may feel that this point throws up another question instead of answering the overarching one – how do we identify low self-esteem? A lot of people who suffer from this condition truly believe that they are being realistic in their self-evaluation as they have a deep-set belief of their unworthiness, reinforced by life events. However, if a person truly suffers from low self-esteem, not only does it affect their mental health, it affects every sphere of their life – the personal and the professional. Psychologist Linda Charnes writes in her blog about how a person with low self-esteem will find it difficult to sustain even the slightest rejection, for instance, a greeting that is not reciprocated can throw the person into an acute depressive reaction, often expressed by defensive anger.
She sums up the effect of self-esteem on personal relationships beautifully by stating – 'love of self perpetuates the love of other'. Therefore, one's inter-personal relationships is a big clue to one's self esteem. Therapy can help a person to achieve a state of self-acceptance, thereby allowing them to become more loving towards themselves and others.
Notice Recent Changes in Behavior or Emotions
One of the biggest reason for seeking therapy is depression and yet it is a term that is overused and misunderstood. While everybody is entitled to occasional blues, depression is characterized by a distinct shift in moods and behavior, that has sustained at least over two weeks, according to the American Psychiatric Association. Therefore, one of the ways to know that you may need to seek therapy for depression is if the things that you enjoyed before are no longer pleasurable to you.
If you have been experiencing drastic changes in your appetite or your sleep patterns, or if you have lost the drive to do day-to-day tasks, chances are that you confronting a mental health roadblock. A professional can help you overcome this barrier and ease your symptoms.
Have Suffered Personal Loss or Trauma
You may have come across the cultural adage, 'Time Heals'. In the case of a physical wound, it may seem like it is time that is doing the healing, when in fact it is an invisible immunity system at work. In case of an emotional wound, especially one that is caused by shock, the attack may be on our very ability to bounce back and therefore, we will have to actively work to activate the healing process. Therefore, a more appropriate saying is 'it is what you do with time that heals', says an article in Psychology Today.
A therapist can guide a person through their mourning process or help him to build thought patterns that are able to deliver him from guilt. On the other hand, waiting for time to heal may result in intensified pain that continues through the years.