Do I Need to See a Counselor?: How to Decide

Do I Need to see a counselor

So, you have a job, a car, a place to live, and a relatively good job. Sure, you face different struggles in life, but who doesn’t? Your heart may be broken but whose hasn’t? Your job is unfulfilling and draining but at least you have one. You are getting by just fine. This is the story of many people’s lives. This article is not a ploy to get you to see a counselor because there is something “wrong” with you. For some, there may be something seriously wrong, and for most, it is the usual struggles of life. This article is written to suggest that you may be struggling with a burden you need not bear alone. Below are just a few reasons why you may need counseling. 

Personal Distress

Unless you express this distress, it tends to be the most invisible form of difficulties with mental health. When it comes to this issue, you are the best judge of personal distress which comes in the form of emotional, cognitive (thoughts), and/or behavioral difficulties. It can range from issues such as difficulty sleeping, nightmares, persistent sadness or anxiety, suicidal thoughts, feeling unfulfilled or overwhelmed, to difficulty concentrating. “High-functioning” individuals are usually able to conceal these issues very well and go about business as usual. If this is you, it is advisable to see a counselor sooner rather than later. This is because, much like medical conditions, if left unattended to, they will worse and manifest with great intensity. The manner in which you are currently coping could be detrimental to your wellbeing. 

Distress to Others

Sometimes, we may feel as though everything is fine with us, or we believe our problem is ours alone to bear. Nevertheless, those around us may be experiencing some effects on our state of mind. For instance, a person who prefers not to be sexually intimate with a spouse due to past sexual assault may prefer to leave things as they are. Unfortunately, this can take a toll on the relationship and lead to the unhappiness of their partner. Such a person should enlist the services of a counselor to help deal with and hopefully resolve the trauma that they experienced. Another example is of someone whose family does not like their presence because from time to time they have unpredictable anger outbursts. If a behavior or condition of yours is causing distress to those close to you, you most likely need counseling. 

Recurring Unhealthy Patterns

Do you seem to choose the same type of partner or friends who somehow betray you? Sometimes it’s the family that you can’t get rid of. You find yourself dealing with the same issues over and over again, and you struggle to break free. Other times you feel stuck or you feel as though if the other person does not change, your life is doomed to repeat those cycles. You may have tried all sorts of viable solutions such as religion/prayer, alcohol, drugs, avoidance, self-help books, motivational speakers, talking to the person, and even Google! You may need counseling because this is a great place to help you navigate such issues. Many have experienced significant breakthroughs in dealing with unhealthy patterns. There are helpful tools that you learn, to help you navigate such situations.

Difficulty with Usual Tasks

It is time to see a counselor if whatever you’re going through makes it quite difficult for you to carry out your usual tasks. For example, if you were involved in a car accident and are now unable to sit a car without struggling with anxiety, it would be wise to seek the help of a counselor. Emotional, cognitive, or behavioral issues that interfere with your job performance, physical health, professional and personal relationships, need the assistance of a counselor. Another example is being unable to concentrate at work or school due to a bad break up. During this period, you may need counseling to guide you through the process of recovery. 

Time for You

Counseling does not always have to be a place where people with significant problems go. You can still benefit from counseling even if you don’t have any pressing concerns. For the hour or so you spend in a counseling session, you can talk about anything you want. This is a time for you and you alone! You can chat about your day, week, goals in life, personal growth intentions, or even sleep! Yes, sleep! If this is what you need because it’s hard to find time to do so, you can communicate this to your counselor and spend the hour sleeping. Although such situations are rare, they go to show you the endless possibilities of the benefits of counseling. 

Hopefully, this article has shed more light on the benefits of seeing a counselor. You do not necessarily need to have a severe clinical disorder to see a professional counselor. In fact, at some points in our lives, we all need counseling by a professional. Here is an interesting article on what counseling is.

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