Every year, around 19 million adults in the US experience anxiety disorders, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Despite this, many people do not realize they need therapy and continue to struggle through everyday life. One reason is a lack of awareness regarding mental health issues and an inability to understand the nature of their symptoms.
To prevent any delay in getting the right help, here are some common signs that suggest a need for psychotherapy.
1. Unexplained Illness
If you have been ill for over a month time and the medical tests show no conclusive evidence of any ailment, it could be that your mental health is affecting your physical health. Research shows that stress can lead to numerous physical ailments, as well as reduced sex drive. Unexpected muscle spasms or recurring neck pain can also be a sign that you’re emotionally distressed.
2. Strained Relationships
Finding it difficult to express your feelings in front of people? Having regular arguments and fights with your loved ones? Chances are this isn’t just a phase that will pass. You need to identify whether the intensity of your conflicts is the same as that on other occasions. If there is a great deal of trouble at home or office, you might want to consider individual or group therapy. This can help in coping with anxiety, since the key to solving problems is sharing it with someone, says Linda Charnes, a leading couples counselor in NYC.
3. Detachment from Your Favorite Activities
While it is okay to feel sad sometimes, a prolonged period of depression is a signal of a mental health issue. When the mind isn’t functioning at its best, you may feel unhappy even during joyful occasions. Family or friend gatherings can become stressful and lose their purpose for you. If you identify with any of these, you should consider consulting a psychotherapist. The key to solving problems is to not keep it to yourself. Not speaking about it only leads to tension and makes the situation much worse for you.
Increase in Substance Use
In case there is an increase in the amount of alcohol you consume or a sudden increase in smoking, it can be an indication that you are trying to numb your feelings that need to be let out. Even if you are experiencing an urge to use drugs to ease your mind, chances are you are struggling to take care of yourself.
While treatment can help people with anxiety and various types of mental health issues, around 30% of the people go through life without getting treatment, as mentioned in an article by Harvard Health Publishing. Don’t be one of those people who give in to the fear of stigma and discrimination. Consult a psychotherapist and regain control of your life.