When should you seek therapy?
Therapy is a topic that most recently became popular due to covid and all the mental stress that covid caused on everyone. Before covid I rarely heard therapy being advocated on social media, the news, or among family and friends. I did not even know I was a candidate for therapy because I pre-perceived that therapy was only need if you were suicidal. The idea of therapy made me nervous because the thought of sharing my most personal and hurtful experiences was embarrassing to me. Sadness was a regular feeling for me after the birth of my first son. Being diagnosed with postpartum depression and being told “black folks do not have that” by some of my uneducated peers what my first real experience with seeking help! Now that I am older and have experienced more, I find it important that I advocate mental health awareness and therapy. Therapy is an amazing tool for those dealing emotional distress or just can not figure out life. Often, I am asked, how did I know I needed therapy? And when should you seek help from a therapist?
The American Psychological Association suggests considering therapy when something causes distress and interferes with some part of life, particularly when:
- Thinking about or coping with the issue takes up at least an hour each day.
- The issue causes embarrassment or makes you want to avoid others.
- The issue has caused your quality of life to decrease.
- The issue has negatively affected school, work, or relationships.
- You’ve made changes in your life or developed habits to cope with the issue.
Coming from someone with childhood and adult trauma I believe the proper time for therapy is after you experience something traumatic or know that you have changed but not for the better. Sometimes in life you just feel completely off, and you do not know why. When you are feeling like you do not know yourself it is time to seek help. I advise seeking help before you find yourself in a dark hard and unable to climb yourself out. I know firsthand that it is a scary feeling to ask for help. It is also a scary feeling to know that you have an issue, but not equipped with the tools to handle the issue. “Therapy has been like my bag of tools that I go to when I need to fix something”-Toni Murray. Honesty speaking therapy will not heal you overnight. Therapy takes time to work, and you must remain consistent, or you may not reap all the good benefits of therapy. Also, sometimes you will find a therapist and realize after a couple of visits that the therapist is just not a fit for you. It is okay to change therapist until you find the right fit for you. For example, I have had experiences with male therapist, but due to my past traumas it is hard for me to trust a male therapist or feel completely comfortable. Female therapist has worked out better for me and makes me feel more comfortable, but that does not mean there are not good male therapist out there for you. Do not give up, until you find the perfect fit. I encourage anyone that just need a listening ear to please seek therapy. Therapy can be a life changing experience in a beneficial aspect.
I will list the benefit of therapy that I have experienced below:
- Feeling like I have support and someone I can speak to about anything.
- Knowing that all my secrets and troubles can be released confidentially.
- Receiving unbiased advice and criticism in the right way.
- Being able to release and feel like a weight have been lifted after each session.
- Having someone to hold me accountable.
- Improving my everyday life and relationships
- And emotional release that medication can not give me.
Let me know your experiences or lack thereof with therapy? I have listed some other blogs that relates below: