941-462-4807 meg@megyounglcsw.com

Therapy isn’t for you, is it? Therapy is for people who can’t do it on their own. People who are sick. People who are “tapped”, “crazy”, “nuts”, “psycho”, and “loony”. Or maybe you don’t stigmatize therapy, but you just don’t think it is right for you. Maybe if you dig deep enough you do feel some stigma walking into a therapist’s office. Whatever the reason, you have decided therapy is not for you.
Unfortunately, by denying that you may need more than you can do on your own, you are setting yourself up for a potential worsening cycle.
You may notice your own spiral down, or you may notice changes in others such as your kids. Children are very perceptive, but they lack awareness. They know something isn’t right, but they don’t know what and often just react to the change without the understanding behind their behaviors or the situation.
Not only does living life believing therapy isn’t for you impacting you and your family, but it has ripple effects across everyone you are in contact with every day. As you change, those around you change.
Several years back when superhero movies were getting big, I remember a television show called, I believe, “Superhuman.” Don’t quote me on that. I only saw one episode, and of that I only saw the end of the episode. However, despite not seeing most of it and it being years ago, it stuck with me.
In this episode, a man with no legs decided he was going to climb a mountain…I don’t remember which. This was a very steep mountain and he trained for a long time. He used an arm bike to get up the mountain and had people with him who would “help” him by putting boards down making it easier to get across difficult terrain. However, they were not allowed to actually do anything to help him. They could not pull him, push him, or aid him in any physical manner.
This man made it so close to the top (I don’t recall exactly how close) before he lost steam and couldn’t get that last part. He asked his comrades to help. They tied a rope to his bike and pulled while he continued to use his arms to get up the mountain. He made it to the top. In the interview afterward, he said he was so determined to do this alone, but it’s ok to ask for help. Sometimes you just have to have help to meet your goals. He did not regret asking for help and said that he learned a valuable lesson by asking for and accepting help at that time.
I wonder if you can relate to this story. You may be trying so very hard, and pushing against needing help, but what if it’s time? What if now is when you could meet your goals if you just asked for help?
Without asking for help, you will wind up deeper and deeper in a hole. You can only fight against the stress in the brain for so long before it takes control of you.
The truth is we all need help in our lives. Maybe we ask a friend for advice on choosing the right car. Maybe we ask our parent for help with childcare. Maybe we turn to youtube to do a DIY project. Many people struggle with whether or not they need therapy. As they struggle with this question, they find themselves continuing to struggle in their lives.
Right now you are questioning whether you need therapy. You are feeling more out of control than you want to admit. However, if we can identify six key points, we may understand that now is the time we need to ask for someone to aid us in getting up that mountain. When we make the decision to go to therapy, it is entirely possible to meet our goals so much faster than if we continue to fight against it.
Keep reading for six tips so you can make an educated decision and start feeling better today.
The biggest downside to not being willing to seek the help of a therapist is not feeling better. You don’t like how life is going now, but you’ll turn to every website out there trying to fix it yourself. Nothing’s worked.
At the very least, you find yourself tired and irritable. You try to push it aside, you try to deny it. But it doesn’t seem to be working; you’re still tired and irritable.
Living with the feelings of dread and exhaustion is making you feel more tired and more stressed. It’s an annoying spiral that you don’t feel any relief from.
Although you struggle with the belief you can do this yourself, while wondering if that is really true, you have the potential to feel better. You can keep doing what you’ve been doing and get the same results, or do something different.
When we choose to do something different, there is a possibility for a different outcome, including feeling in control of ourselves, our minds, and our lives. You have the opportunity to get your life back quicker than you know.
Yes it’s true you may be feeling conflicted right now, but when you understand that nothing is wrong with you and we all need some help throughout our lives, you have the potential to pass this knowledge on to others and feel more confident yourself.
The key to achieving this is to recognize that everyone needs help some times during their lives. Deciding to accept help is not a failure and not a weakness.
Take a look at these 6 tips to see whether it is time for you to seek therapy for yourself
1. You’ve had enough
This seems like it would be an obvious one, but it’s not always that obvious. There is no concrete way to know that we have had enough. It is just a feeling that we get. Sometimes the feelings of being burnt out and cynical about everything can overshadow even the most obvious signs.
Take a look at your world right now. What is going well? What isn’t? What have you done to try and change what isn’t going well? Sit with your feelings for just a moment, because I know this will not be easy – are you tired? Angry? Fed up? Frustrated? Hopeless?
When you take a look at where you are right now and how you are feeling you might get this nagging notion that enough’s enough. But then what do you do about it? The first thought may be “don’t go to therapy” – and I’m not saying you should. I’m saying this is one indicator that therapy may be helpful.
2. It is impacting your home life
How is your relationship with your significant other? How about with your friends? How about with your family – parents, siblings, etc? Have you stopped hanging out with them as much? Do you worry about them more? Are you more protective over them than you used to be? Are you more sarcastic with them?
Taking a look at what has changed at home is another good indicator as to whether therapy could be beneficial. Your behaviors will eventually have an impact on those you love. Even if it hasn’t yet. As you change, so will they.
3. Nothing you’ve tried is working
How much have you looked up online trying to make it all better? The internet is a wealth of resources. There is so much information out there and honestly, a great deal of it is appropriate and helpful when it comes to techniques to deal with your emotional and mental well-being.
Another indicator may be that even though you’ve tried everything the internet has to say, you still aren’t feeling better. You may be wondering, if all of it is appropriate, how will a therapist be any different? Therapists have a way of helping you through the roadblocks that prevented the techniques from working. When therapists go to school to get their degree, it is not just about learning these techniques that you find online. There is a lot more that a therapist will be able to help you through so the techniques will be more effective than just trying them on your own.
4. Others say you need therapy
This is a pretty big indicator, but also one of the biggest that we blow off. Nobody wants to hear “you’re not well.” Or “You’ve changed.” Or “You need help.” The reality of this is when someone says “you”, we tend to immediately feel defensive. It doesn’t feel good.
On the other side of the coin, we are able to make excuses for ourselves very easily and don’t have a very objective view of ourselves. You know those commercials about Snickers – You just aren’t yourself when you’re hungry? There is a truth to this for many people. As our blood sugar drops, we act differently. We may make an excuse about our behavior saying “I was hungry when I said that” or “I had such a stressful day and deserved the drink (or two) when I got home.” These statements may be true, but they are also an indicator that we are not taking good care of ourselves. If we let ourselves get so hungry we yell at others, or so stressed out that we drink more, we probably need to do better with self care.
Others will often notice that these “excuses” have been more frequent and therefore likely not actually true reasons for while we are acting that way. They can look at us from an objective viewpoint. It is very helpful to listen to what others say and not just dismiss it. Just because you hear them out does not mean you have to agree with them or do what they say.
5. It is impacting your health (heart, blood pressure, weight)
Another huge indicator that our stress management techniques aren’t working is in the body. The brain and body are well coordinated to work in conjunction. When the brain believes there is danger, it signals the body to get ready for survival. This includes sending adrenalin and cortisol into the body to give energy to the limbs. Additionally, the heart rate increases and blood pressure increases. When the brain believes there’s danger time and time again, the mechanics of the brain figure that staying in a constant state of awareness will be better for survival. So, adrenalin and cortisol are constantly kicked out into the system. The most common ongoing physiological response to constant adrenalin and cortisol release is the blood pressure staying elevated.
If you have been doing everything you see on line that should be helping, but your most recent physical indicated you have high blood pressure, weight changes, or other physical ailments, it may be time to think about getting additional support from a therapist to decrease the physiological responses the body is having.
6. Your children’s behaviors have regressed
As I mentioned above, your behaviors will impact others. You cannot throw a rock in the pond and not have ripple effects. Our children are very perceptive and will know that something is different or isn’t right, even if they don’t know how to express it or don’t recognize it at a conscious level.
Have you noticed that your children regressed to behaviors they’ve already overcome? Bed wetting, temper tantrums, etc? Or maybe you’ve noticed that they’ve become more clingy – refusing to go to bed, not wanting to be left alone. Or maybe their school performance has dropped. There are a million behavior changes that could happen and no one child will react exactly the same as others.
Have a conversation with your spouse and with others who interact with your children – teachers, coaches, friends parents, etc. What have they noticed? When did this behavior change start? What can you do to help your children in this case? Somethings you’ll be able to do alone, but other things you may find that therapy for yourself or them may be helpful in helping them cope with life stressors and changes.
Knowing when you should seek therapy is a personal decision. Everyone has their own needs and own things going on. When you take a look at these six tips and notice that you meet one or more of them, it may be time to consider getting the additional support of a therapist.
There is nothing wrong with you if you seek therapy. This is actually a sign of strength as you know your limits. You don’t lift three times more than you know you safely can; you ask for help. Attending therapy is exactly the same. We can only go so far on our own before needing the support of other people. Knowing your limits will help you maintain safety and stability in life.
You absolutely can get yourself back to where you want to be in life. You absolutely can feel better, stronger, calmer, and more stable. Meg Young, LCSW can help you get there, even if I am not the right therapist for you. Just by reaching out to me, I can point you in a direction that will help you get your needs met. I have helped many people just like you obtain the freedom from unhelpful feelings and thoughts and obtaining the life they so much desired to get back.
If you haven’t already read my blog outlining the top five things to think about when choosing a therapist, check it out here! It is a great followup to this blog.
I hope you choose strength today and give me a call to schedule an appointment. 941-462-4807.