Knowing When You Need Professional Help
The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem, right? So, let’s say you’re willing to admit that you have a problem. After all, everyone has problems, struggles, and an unhealthy habit or two.
The question is, how serious is your problem?
Can you solve it with a few simple life changes? Or do you need external help?
Any struggle, big or small, should be discussed with a trusted friend. After all, what are friends for? Simply talking out-loud about a problem allows you to process it differently. You might see a way to overcome it that you didn’t think about before.
Or you may realize it’s a bigger problem than you originally thought.
A good friend will offer to help hold you accountable, which is great. Accountability can significantly increase your chances of success. But it’s not always enough. And sometimes, we don’t want to tell our friends our deepest, darkest secrets.
This is where a counselor or psychologist can help.
“But do I really need professional help?”
Even as our society becomes more comfortable with the concepts of psychology, mental illness, and emotional trauma, we often see professional counseling as an extreme measure. But counselors and therapists are not only there for the extreme mental disorders in the same way doctors are not only there for people who are bleeding out.
You don’t need to be struggling with depression or suicidal tendencies to sit and talk with a psychiatrist. You simply have to decide that it’s the right course of action for your life.
If you’re undecided on the matter, here are a few red flags that may suggest it’s time to seek professional help.
Despite you’re best efforts, you can’t stop.
Whether we like to admit it or not, we all willfully live with certain problems. We accept that it’s just the way we are, or they don’t bother anyone, or they’d cause more harm if they were addressed, or they’re work themselves out over time.
And maybe that’s true.
But if you’re deliberately trying to break a habit or make a life change, and despite your best efforts, you can’t, it may be time to see a professional. Not only can a counselor provide insight into the source of your struggle, but they can help establish a system to overcome it.
It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. If you want to make a real change in your life, consider a counselor.
You’re using substance to handle it.
There are healthy ways of coping with life’s struggles, such as going for a jog, playing a game, or meeting up with a friend. Relying on any drug or alcohol related substances to cope is never healthy.
Even if it seems harmless, or it’s just “one drink”, this is the beginning of a very dark path. Not only will substances not help your problem, but they’ll most likely become an additional problem of their own.
If you’ve begun to abuse any type of substance, seek help immediately.
It’s directly affecting those around you.
Are your relationships strained because of a problem? Have you missed social engagements, pushed back deadlines, and broke promises because of an issue in your life? Your problem is no longer just your problem.
At this point, getting help isn’t just important for you. It’s important for those who live around you. If your own well-being isn’t enough of a reason to seek counseling, do it for those who care about you.
Someone you value is telling you to get help.
Asking for help is hard. Telling someone they need help isn’t any easier. If someone close to you is urging you to get professional help, there’s likely a strong reason why. Trust their words. Ease their mind. Contact a therapist.
Therapy doesn’t have to be the “no other options left” choice.
Too many people wait till something serious happens before they seek help. By seeking counsel sooner rather than later, you can avoid potential disaster in the future. Plus it will be much easier to fix the issue.
“The earlier someone gets help, the easier it is to get through the problem,” says psychologist Daniel J. Reidenberg, Executive Director of SAVE (Suicide Awareness Voices of Education)
Imagine you’re a person who spends their days eating and drinking too much while never exercising (it’s easier for some than others). Suddenly, you have a heart attack. The good news is, you survived. The bad news is if you don’t radically alter your entire lifestyle, you won’t live much longer.
Wouldn’t it have been easier to simply adopt some healthier habits early on and avoid the heart attack altogether? Of course it would.
Your mind is no different. Treat it well. If you need professional help, get it.
Not sure where to begin? Try Torrch. We’ll match you up with the perfect Christian Counselor or psychologist for your needs. Best of all, it’s free to use. Join now.