Often times, when you think of people who go to therapy, our brains automatically take us to people suffering from severe mental health issues - chronic depression, crippling anxiety, any version of a dramatic disorder that affects their day to day processing. This category of patients is, obviously, a given - but therapy isn't just for people who have severe mental health problems. Therapy can provide a lot of resources to any person - whether or not they struggle with their mental health.
If you are neurotypical and do not suffer from mental stigma or struggle, therapy is still a valuable tool for the prosperity in your life. It can provide new perspectives on situations, as well as the people around you - which can help you learn a lot about your current relationships, and about yourself.
If you are neurodivergent, in any capacity, therapy can provide the same resources as a neurotypical patient - but will also offer specialized treatment for whatever problems you are facing with your mental health journey.
But how do I know if therapy is right for me?
Therapy is a personal journey for all of us. No one can guarantee the effectiveness, or how long treatment will take to complete. We can't guarantee that therapy is going to be the right path for you - but what we can say, is that there are a few key behaviors and situation changes in your life that, if you feel similarly, you may want to consider exploring therapy as an option.
Some reasons that people look towards therapy for mental health guidance:
You no longer enjoy the things that you used to. Maybe you've been a musician your entire life, and lately it just hasn't brought you joy the way it used to. Maybe you used to go to rock climbing every week, but lately it's been draining and easier to skip all-together.
Your emotions are out of control. Does it feel like everything is hitting you 10x harder than normal? Crying in the bathroom at work, losing your full temper in traffic? Minor inconveniences start feeling like gunshot wounds, and you're wondering if it's you or them.
Your eating and sleeping habits have changed. Sleep is vital to our mental health, and so is a healthy diet. Physical health and mental health are directly related! Too much sleep, or not enough - just the same as too much food, or not enough, is going to have a dramatic impact.
You've experienced a horrible trauma. Traumatic experiences aren't just for combat soldiers and ER doctors. Trauma hits everyone differently, and it can be anything from loss of a loved one, a car accident, to an unfaithful partner.
You're learning into your unhealthy habits too much. Normally when we think of 'unhealthy habits', we automatically think of drugs and alcohol abuse. This is not the only unhealthy habits that we can express! Excessive shopping and spending, dramatic diet programs, and overall displays of risky behavior can mean it's time to have a chat with a mental health practitioner.
Your personal relationships aren't being nurtured. Maybe it's constant bickering with your spouse, or getting fed up and snapping at your children. Feeling like you don't have time or can't be bothered with communication, so you leave messages from your friends unread and unanswered.
You have no desire to experience social situations. Of course we don't want our friends to forget about us, and we definitely still want the invitation! But responding is harder than normal, and often times the RSVP is left untouched.
You feel like you are alone. Everyone needs someone to talk to. If you are in a situation where you have no one (no local family or friends, no companion that you feel safe discussing your existence with), therapy can offer a valuable resource.
You don't know who you are anymore. Sometimes, through life and experiences, the image we have built up of ourselves starts to become clouded. Do we enjoy the same things? ARE we the same person we were 5 years ago? Do we have the same dreams? Understanding yourself in your current state can help us both overcome issues and give ourselves a bit more grace while working through the learning curves of mental health wellness.
You have tried everything else, and nothing is working. How many lists can you check off? Meditation? Check. Exercise? Check. Self-help books and holistic blogs? Check. When it seems like nothing else is offering the relief that you seek, turning to therapy could be the golden ticket needed!
If anything listed above feels familiar, it may be time to consider seeking out a therapist. Your mental health is important, and even though sometimes it can feel scary, or complicated, or just straight up overwhelming - it is important to do the work and take care of your brain!
Remember - if it is time for you to find therapy, and the thought feels too overwhelming to even consider - think about Send HEPi! It's our job to take the gross, stressful feeling out of searching for the right therapist. We do the dirty work, and set you up with a top-three match so that you can connect with the professional right for you.