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  1. #1

    How do you know if you need therapy?

    How do you know when you need therapy? I think i possibly need it. I don't know. For me, it's hard figuring which of my feelings are normal, and which are not normal. I know i have mood swings. Nothing serious. I know that i'm afraid to confront any kind of conflict. I know that i'm afraid of people not accepting me, but at the same time, i want to not care. I know people say i'm too much of a deep thinker. I know sometimes i cry out of the blue for no apparent reason, and sometimes can't stop. I know i long for affection and love. I know i can sometimes be too emotional. I play out everything in my head like a movie of how i think a certain situation would happen (and of course it's never right). I don't know. Maybe I'm just the average Jane, but i do know i have a lot of insecurities. What am I doing?
    -Amanda

  2. #2

    How do you know if you need therapy?

    For me, it's hard figuring which of my feelings are normal, and which are not normal.
    What matters is that you are distressed. Therapy could help, for example, with your feelings of depression ("sometimes i cry out of the blue") and your having "a lot of insecurities."
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Australia
    Age
    33
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    How do you know if you need therapy?

    Hi Amanda,
    I wonder if whether one of the signs that therapy might be useful to you is simply pondering that very question! It sounds like the things you mentioned in your post are bothering you, and, that being the case, it seems to make sense to see what you can do about it. Just talking things through with a therapist who is able to give you good insight into where these emotions are coming from might make a lot of difference. I guess you'll never know unless you give it a go :)

    Good luck, and all the best,
    Meg
    "As far as we can discern, the sole purpose of human existence is to kindle a light of meaning in the darkness of mere being." - Carl Jung

  4. #4

    How do you know if you need therapy?

    hey Amanda- it's ok to not always know why you feel a certain way or even to have mood swings, it's not really about two extremes (ie. 100% ok vs. not okay) but it's more about a continuum. It's "normal" to be sad at times, to cry, to feel lost, as much as it is normal to be happy, feel joy, experience pleasure... it's kind of about the moderation though, like you don't want to be 70% sad and only 30% happy,... By not wanting to confront conflicts in a way you're setting yourself up for failure, b/c no, not everything should bug you but if you know that you could gain more from trying to work on things or issues, then the whole would be so much greater than leaving things as they are- confronting an issue takes determination and strength and you need to be committed to truly wanting to do so, but only if you do so, can you look back at the end of things and say "I tried my best" and be happy w/ your decisions. don't know if that makes sense.

    we all worry on some level about wanting to be accepted, but again it depends on how much value you put on that. don't live your life for the acceptance of others, b/c that's not true happines. If you feel like you cry a lot and especially when you can't really see why, then yes, you might be depressed about things but either way if you feel it would be beneficial to go talk to someone, do so... as Meg said you won't know what's out there until you try. Sometimes, I find that people don't want to go talk to someone b/c they don't have one particular issue to present (ie. "I have anxiety") but that's exactly why talking to someone helps, to figure out what's "normal" for you and what's not. If you had everything figured out then what would be the point of going to see someone, so don't let that hold you back. Give it a shot and you might just end up feeling a whole lot better about yourself and things and gain some understanding into why you feel the way you do....

  5. #5

    How do you know if you need therapy?

    Also, with some reiteration of the points made above:

    You should consider counseling when you are unhappy, or when you wish you could be happier-when your anxiety or distress is interfering with work, relationships or self-confidence. Counseling can be helpful when you are facing a transition, have experienced a loss or just plain wish you could greet the day with more enthusiasm. I would suggest that if you are asking yourself this question, it is a good idea to consult a counselor or other mental health professional. Seeking help is a sign of strength. Don't wait until you are desperate.

    Jane Goodman, Ph.D.
    President, American Counseling Association

    Source: PsychologyToday - How do you know if you need therapy?
    "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  6. #6

    How do you know if you need therapy?

    I am a firm believer in therapy for anyone. It can be helpful in so many different ways. It can help one with the rigors of life or when the most difficult of issues arise. Going to therapy does not necessarily imply that there is something wrong with a person for going...I like to think of it as personal maintenance for a person's thoughts and/or feelings. I support and encourage anyone's decision to seek out therapy.

  7. #7

    Re: How do you know if you need therapy?

    My own 2 cents... if "the problem" is a social one (ie: not finding work because there is no work in your country, not having enough money, etc) then individual therapy will not help really. It depends on the type of distress... I think

  8. #8

    Re: How do you know if you need therapy?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lili View Post
    if "the problem" is a social one (ie: not finding work because there is no work in your country, not having enough money, etc) then individual therapy will not help really.
    Once again, I must disagree with you, Lili.

    If unemployment, poor health, marital or family problems, or other external stressors are the problem, it's true that therapy may not be able to directly change those (at least in some cases). Even then therapy may well assist the individual in finding more effective ways to cope with those external stressors.

    But it's also possible that something about the individual or the way the individual interacts with other people and generally copes with life may be creating or exacerbating that "external" problem. If so, often the individual is unaware of the relationship between his/her behavior and the "external" problem. Therapy can also help with that sort of scenario.

  9. #9

    Re: How do you know if you need therapy?

    David, I agree. In part.

    I have seen systems, or governements, like in the UK for example, where you have charitable counselling agencies every where. Therapists are not paid, the counselling agencies are funded yearly by the State. Their funding rely on the number of clients they "see" per year.

    There is a lot of unemployment in the UK; a very small country with too many people. But the unemployed are all unemployed because they are of course "sick" but because in reality there is not much to offer in such a small crowded country with no mrore real natural resources anymore. No jobs to offer. The rents are higher than the salaries, and not every one is happily married to a wealthy spouse.

    So, people go to their GPs, in 2 seconds, after having given three or more symptoms that looks like something that can be identified in their medical "bible" (ie: 1) feeling low, 2) crying, 3) tired), people are systematically given some anti-depressants. No blood tests, no medical check up, one can say those 3 words and they are diagnose "depressed".

    The health system is a free system in the UK. It has got its advantages, but also its disadvantages. From a visit to the GP then the "patient" can also go and see a Psychiatrist if they feel that they are now depressed because they have been told so why not thinking now: " that's it I now know why life is not sweet for me; I am depressed, the doctor said". They are labelled, and they would have created a new patient, for the Health system, and it will be even more difficult after that to find the energy to not be that problem, if the Docs have said so.

    Then either the GP or the psychiatrist send them to those charitable counselling agencies, that are also free of charge to receive counselling or therapy to get rid of "that" problem...

    this is a vicious circle and some systems use Therapy when they don't know what to do with "those" who seem to complain and not be happy in life, the unemployed. Of course it is easier to tell individuals that it is probably because of their own problems that they cannot "make it", this said, the social environment also carries some responsibility there and what it can offer offer to its people is also very important in my opinion, if not one of the most important condition of a system. Just look at those countries under dictature or with famine.

    This was why I was saying that if someone is depressed or so,they cannot find a job, or the right woman or man, or "happiness", contentment, well... sometimes therapy will NOT help if the environment (and we could go back to Rogers with that) is not suitable for that person or is the CAUSE. I would say, change country, it might be better elsewhere. A bit more sun, more work available, and the smile could be back on their face quicker than going 4 years in therapy.

    That was the point I was making, that sometimes, one has to be careful not to mix up all the kind of distresses. Not all the distress types are types for individual therapy.

    I hope this is clearer.

    lili

  10. #10

    Re: How do you know if you need therapy?

    I am concerned about

    1. your strong negative bias against diagnosis and where it originates;

    2. your apparent belief that people are sent into therapy because they are nuisances; and

    3. your apparent belief that clients, physicians, and therapists routinely "abuse the system".

    This was why I was saying that if someone is depressed or so,they cannot find a job, or the right woman or man, or "happiness", contentment, well... sometimes therapy will NOT help
    On the contrary, if that is the case I would suggest that this person might very well benefit from therapy.

    if the environment (and we could go back to Rogers with that) is not suitable for that person or is the CAUSE. I would say, change country, it might be better elsewhere. A bit more sun, more work available, and the smile could be back on their face quicker than going 4 years in therapy.
    This suggests (a) a notable lack of compassion for those afflicted with depression or other mental health issues, and (b) a lack of understanding of major depression.

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