Emotional distress is a normal part of our lives. There could be many factors causing distress, such as relationship issues, workplace pressures, personal loss, etc., which vary from person to person in different intensities. You might be finding it difficult to cope with your day-to-day life due to the negative behavior and thought patterns that you might have developed over time due to distress. Professional help from trained counselors can help you overcome these hurdles and become better equipped to face these challenges in the future. Counseling can provide you with a non-judgmental and safe environment to vent out and explore options and tools to help you cope with and overcome whatever might be hindering your progress and causing you distress and set you up to be functioning at your full potential.
If you have ever wondered if you should be seeing a counselor, the chances are yes, you should.
To help you out a bit more, here are some signs that you should see a counselor:
You are unable to regulate emotions:
Feeling negative emotions is normal but more often than not, we are in control of our emotions. We can regulate them and divert our attention onto other things such as our daily duties and routines. If you are experiencing trouble at being in control of your emotions and they are hindering your day-to-day activities, then it is a sign that you should consult a counselor to help you regulate them. Venting out to a counselor might help you better understand your emotions objectively without judgment and manage them properly.
Disruption in sleep and appetite:
Negative thought patterns and emotions often manifest themselves through behavior. If you see an unusual increase or decrease in your sleep and/or appetite then it might be time to consult a professional to help you manage the underlying problems that might have caused these disruptions in your daily patterns of behavior. Experiencing disruption in sleep and appetite is a common symptom for psychological disorders such as depression and seeking help in these situations is very important.
A recent traumatic event has occurred:
Trauma can leave us feeling helpless and this can negatively affect our mental and physical health. If not dealt with properly, this can develop into a mental health disorder which can cause dysfunction in life. When dealt with effectively with the help of a counselor, you can cope with it in a healthy manner, overcome the trauma, and get your life back in order.
You are experiencing grief:
Death of a loved one, loss of a job, or financial loss can have us feeling grief and having an unbiased listener can help you unload the emotional burden. Counseling can provide you with a safe and compassionate space to deal with the loss and help you deal with the problem effectively.
You have developed unhealthy coping mechanisms:
Abusing substances such as drugs and alcohol to cope with negative emotions is an alarming sign that you need to see a counselor as these substances can cause further problems such as dependence and addiction. Abusing sex is also a common coping mechanism that can result in strained relationships and have you acting recklessly. In some cases, this can increase the chances of contracting STDs. During these dark times consulting a trained professional can help prevent a lot of harm.
Suicidal thoughts and self harm:
It is fairly common among people who are depressed to develop suicidal thoughts that cause them to act out on impulses and self harm. It is vitally important to consult a counselor in these times for your safety. A counselor is trained to offer the right advice and help you through it. If you have recurring thoughts of self harm and/or suicide, you should contact a counselor as soon as possible.
Falling back on unhealthy patterns:
If you have a history of addiction, depression or any other disorder, and find yourself getting back into the same unhealthy patterns such as abusing substances, self harming or any other behavior that you are recovering from, then it might be time to consult a counselor who can guide you on the steps you need to take to prevent a relapse and help you recover properly.
People around you have noticed behaviors and told you to seek help:
Often people around us such as friends and family know a lot about us and can see things that we might not notice. If you have been told by the people around you that they have noticed changes in your behavior, and they have suggested consulting a professional then it might be a sign that you should do exactly that.
Even if you are doubtful about if you actually need help, consulting a counselor can help you reflect on your own needs and come up with a plan of action to tackle the symptoms you might need help with.