Good mental health is more than the mere absence of a mental illness. Good mental health is as important as physical health and it impacts our ability to cope with stress, life challenges, lead a happy and healthy life, and have good relationships with others.
Prioritizing mental health is essential to nurture a sense of overall well-being, but recognizing when it is time for mental health counseling can be more challenging than expected. Sometimes, the signs can be as delicate as persisting negative thoughts, others could be more obvious, such as burnout. Below, we’ll introduce you to what you should know before seeking professional help.
Mental health is important for our well-being. Although there are many definitions for this concept, it could mean something different based on your unique needs.
Mental health influences how we think, feel, and act, so it’s a dynamic state that should allow us to achieve a balance in all areas of our life, including family life, romantic life, and the workplace.
Good mental health is not defined by the lack of a mental illness. Rather, it is a state of mind that allows you to feel happy, appreciated, and allows you to thrive. When mental health weakens, you could experience mild symptoms, such as acute stress or mood fluctuations, but may also lead to worsening or even debilitating conditions, such as depression.
Mental health may not be as obvious as having a cold or flu. Sometimes, it can be very difficult to assess, such as if you are feeling burnout, stressed, or you’re having more negative thoughts than usual. However, feeling down from time to time or stressed is a normal part of everyday life, so it doesn’t necessarily mean that you need professional help.
However, if symptoms are interfering with your everyday life, it may be the right time to opt for online counseling. In other words, if you spend considerable time each day focusing on your struggles or your thoughts and feelings are affecting you negatively every day, this could be a sign that it’s time for mental health counseling.
Here are some symptoms and signs that it’s time for mental health counseling:
Stress and anxiety are unfortunately becoming more and more common in our fast-paced world. To a certain degree, these feelings are unavoidable, especially if you go through major life changes, such as a divorce, the death of a loved one, financial issues, and others. In these cases, seeing a mental health therapist could help you navigate your feelings and thoughts and develop the right mechanisms to cope with the changes.
Exacerbated anxiety could lead to heart racing, breathing problems, and feeling very nervous. Anxiety is usually diagnosed when it persists despite no threat being present. For example, it is normal to feel anxious before a work presentation, but you should seek mental health help if the anxiety is persistent without any obvious triggers.
Symptoms that could require mental health counseling may include a loss of interest in your hobbies or activities that you used to love, such as going out with your friends, appetite changes, insomnia, and negative feelings, including guilt or sadness.
These symptoms can lead to social withdrawal, which is likely to impact your well-being in the long term. Spending time with loved ones or enjoying our favorite activities are important for mental health, and an inability of doing so may indicate that it’s time to seek professional help, which will teach you how to deal with those feelings.
Fatigue is perhaps one of the most common symptoms that could indicate the presence of a mental health issue. This causes people to sleep more than usual or feel like they cannot get up in the morning.
As a result, fatigue is often associated with poor work performance that could even lead to job loss, financial issues, and other reverberating effects that impact one’s quality of life.
If you have recently started to become irritated by or angry over insignificant issues, mental health therapy may help you find the real cause of your anger and learn how to cope with it. This could stem from an ongoing problem, a past event, or family issues. Therapy can help you understand these feelings and what exactly is causing them. A mental health professional can then help you identify the internal or external factors that cause your feelings and help you discover how to eliminate them.
Experiencing negative emotions could be triggered by many stressors, and could make you turn to unhealthy habits, such as overeating or drinking alcohol. This may help to hide the underlying causes in the short term, but it will harm your physical health in the long term.
Discussing with a mental health counselor is not the same as talking to a friend. They have expertise and are licensed and trained in mental health, so they know how to navigate a wide range of issues to help you improve your well-being.
Sometimes, talking to a stranger could help us share aspects of our life that we may not want to share with a closer person. A therapist can provide a different type of support, which is not necessarily based on providing you with advice, but rather help you connect the dots and navigate the issues by yourself.
Also, talking to a mental health therapist is completely confidential. This could help people who may want to talk about a difficult or sensitive situation that causes embarrassment. Consequently, if you need someone to talk to, or you don’t receive the support you need from your friends and family, a mental health therapist could help you if you feel heard and understood.
There is no wrong time to opt for mental health counseling. Regardless of what you are going through, a mental health therapist could offer many benefits, regardless of whether you deal with a mental health illness, a life-changing event, or simply feel exhausted. It’s important to know that you deserve to be happy and to be heard – regardless of what you are going through.