When should I see a Psychologist?

Health blog post about determining when to seek help

Life will always have its ups and downs. Some we navigate easily and bounce back quickly. At other times the downs can get us a little stuck. Given how bumpy this thing called life can be how do you decide if it is time to seek professional support to get through a down?

There are quite a few indicators that therapy could be beneficial to a person. Below is just a few of them.

  1. You are experiencing significant distress – This is completely subjective and is all about whether you feel distressed or not. Research has shown that many people who would benefit from psychotherapy don’t access therapy. As a result, people suffer needlessly. Often people don’t know that there is hope and that they don’t have to keep experiencing such distress. So, if you are finding life difficult, if life has lost its colour, if you often feel down, anxious or stressed it may well be time to see a psychologist. Alternatively, talk to your GP who can advise you further.
  2. You are finding it difficult to function  – Another key giveaway that it may be time to seek therapy is experiencing difficulty functioning. Maybe, you are struggling to function at work because you can’t concentrate. Perhaps, you are finding it hard to get out of bed in the morning. You may be finding it hard to cope with the children in the evenings and find that you need extra help with chores and daily tasks. Maybe you feel anxious while driving. Perhaps you can’t study or prepare for exams due to being too distracted, tired or down. These are all indicators that it is time to seek professional support.
  3. You have experienced a trauma – if you have been in, or witnessed someone else go through, a life-threatening situation and you have not been yourself since then this is another indicator to seek professional input. When a person is exposed to a life-threatening situation, they can have a delayed response too. So, even if it is some months since the trauma, if you begin to have trouble sleeping, feel as though you are reliving the situation, become irritable or short-fused it really is important to talk to your doctor and seek professional input.
  4. Your sleep and / or appetite has changed – we all have a bad night here or there and we all have certain days when we eat more or less than usual. However, if you are having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep and if this has been going on for some time, this is an indicator that it may be time to talk to a psychologist or your GP. Equally, if you have noticed a change to your appetite, either an increase or decrease for long enough for it to start impacting your weight again it may be time to seek therapy.
  5. Your loved ones or friends are worried about you – Finally, if your loved ones or friends start noticing changes in you and are concerned about you that is another indicator that it is time to talk to your GP or a psychologist.

Many people who would benefit from therapy don’t access therapy. This is partly due to not knowing when to seek therapy. This list is by no means exhaustive, so if you are in doubt, it’s best to talk to your GP who can advise you further on whether you could benefit from therapy or not. Alternatively, call or email us to ask us any questions you may have about seeking therapy. 

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