You may be thinking when should I see a therapist? How will I know? Well, 1 in 4 people in the UK will experience a mental health problem of some kind each year in England. 1 in 6 people report having a common mental health problem (such as anxiety or depression) every week. Even though we have numbers like this in our country, people still feel ashamed or worried about talking about their issues and opening up. Yet psychotherapy, talking therapy, cognitive behavioural therapy or even counselling. Whatever you want to call it, it can benefit people struggling with emotional difficulties, life challenges and diagnosed mental health problems.
Therapy Not Medication
Therapy can be more effective than medication in reference to its long term effects. Medication can reduce the symptoms of the mental health condition, but it doesn’t address the source of where it has come from and why you are feeling the way you do. Therapy teaches people the ability to address symptoms on their own and therefore then not needing more treatment in the future.
Untreated mental health challenges can worse and even lead to further problems such as difficulty in relationships.Along with inability to work, unable to care for yourself or others, physical health conditions and suicide.
Should I Go To Therapy?
It may be that you know that you suffer from a mental health condition but you are unsure if therapy is right for you. You could always wait and give it some time to see if lifestyle changes or support from friends and family can help you to address and alleviate your symptoms.
If you have tried these but your symptoms and feelings are affecting your ability to cope at work or school, occupying your mind for up to an hour every day or have affected your quality of daily life then it may be time to seek some help from a professional counsellor.
If you feel controlled by your symptoms, or they cause you to harm yourself or others then you need to seek help immediately.
Other feelings you may experience that could have their effects reduced by therapy include:
- Social withdrawal. This isn’t about choosing to be by yourself. This is if you feel distressed being around others or fear being with others.
- Feeling overwhelmed. This comes from the feeling that you have too much to do or too many issues to cope with. It might be a feeling that you can’t rest or stop because you have to get something finished.
- Hopelessness. A feeling that you have no will or want to do anything as you have lost motivation or feeling as if you have no future. This is a common feeling that if left untreated can lead to suicide.
- Agoraphobia. People who suffer from this fear being in places where they might feel or become trapped and cause panic attacks. Some severe cases mean the person suffering is unable to leave their home.
- Anger/rage/resentment. Everybody will feel this at some time, and passing rage is not harmful. It is when these feelings last for a long time and do not go away that they can lead you to take harmful or violent actions.
- Anxious. This is another emotion that lots of people will feel at some point, but if it is occupying a lot of your time each day then you could be suffering from anxiety.
What Are The Benefits?
When considering therapy, you may be weighing up the pros and cons to help you decide if it is the right choice for you. Talking about past trauma or suffering that may have caused the issues you are having can be hard and painful. Working through any mental health challenge isn’t easy and therapy is not a quick fix. It requires honesty and time.
That being said there are many benefits to talking therapies such as:
- Improvement in all areas of life. Therapy can help you address where you want your life to go and what may be holding you back from living life the way you want to.
- Learn about yourself. Therapists don’t tell you what to do, but they will listen and offer advice or guidance if you are lost.
- Have better health. Untreated mental health challenges can lead to issues with physical health as there is a link between mind and body wellness.
- Achieve your goals. Through talking about your life, you would be able to think about your goals and therapists can help guide you towards steps to get there.
- Create better relationships. Therapy can help you to address why you have difficulties relating to others such as insecurities or trust issues.
What If It Doesn’t Help?
As mentioned before, therapy is not a quick fix. Some people may try it and be frustrated that it hasn’t worked right away and see it as then being a waste of time and money, therefore they stop the therapy. It can take time for symptoms to improve and people should not be too quick to jump to end the therapy.
It may be that you need to look for a therapist that specialises in what you are experiencing or suffering with. There are lots of different therapy approaches and each of these may better suit different situations. A good therapist will let you know if they can help you, and if not, will be able to offer somebody who can.
All clinicians at Oxford CBT practice Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or are Psychologists. Offering evidence-based interventions and support for a range of issues for both young people and adults. If you would like to book an appointment you can do so on our online booking portal. If you have a question please get in touch via our online contact form or call us on 01865 920077.