I am going to go out on a limb and say that there has been at least one time in your life that you have thought about going to therapy or seeking out a therapist. For some reason, we’ve stigmatized the entire process of seeking help for mental health challenges, and so we don’t go.
Let’s consider for a moment just how ridiculous that really is.
Your brain is an organ just like your heart, lungs, or kidneys. Aside from regulating all your autonomic and voluntary functions, it is responsible for processing all the sensory information around you.
That beautiful breeze you feel on a cool day? That’s your brain telling you that sensation against your skin is pleasant.
That sense of dread you begin to feel as a looming deadline approaches? That’s your brain telling you that ‘danger’ is on the horizon and you better act accordingly.
Unlike other organs, your brain is also responsible for regulating something that carries a strong social attachment with it – behavior.
Sometimes are brains overreact or become ‘injured’ through the experience of traumatic events throughout our lives. Sometimes we are born with neural connections or neurotransmitter imbalances that make it difficult for our brains to function in the ways we want them to.
That’s not our fault, and it’s certainly nothing to be ashamed about.
Why do we view mental health differently than physical health?
If we sustain injuries from a car accident, we wouldn’t feel ashamed to get help from a doctor. We would seek treatment and feel better for having done so.
Why then are we ashamed to ask for therapy when it comes to healing our brain? I propose that we are ashamed because the most obvious ‘defect’ has to do with our behavior.
Not only do we spend our whole lives adjusting our behavior to the liking of others, but it also causes us significant discomfort to suggest that our behavior and worldview may be flawed.
I get it, it’s scary.
We are ashamed because the most obvious ‘defect’ has to do with our behavior.
Luckily for us, May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and Healing Arts Institute wants to help you #BreakTheStigma of mental health therapy!
Let’s go over five simple signs that you should watch out for, and why you should consider starting a relationship with a therapist today.
You are feeling tired throughout the day – even with a whole night’s sleep.
Feeling tired despite having had plenty of rest may be a sign of stress overload. Even if you don’t feel overwhelmed, micro-stressors can accumulate over time. This can lead to mental burnout and emotional distress which will translate into fatigue, stomach pain, muscle aches, and head pain.
Feeling tired is a sign that your body is struggling, and the core cause of that struggle may actually be from an emotional or mental source.
You want to be alone more often than you normally do.
It’s completely normal for people to want to be alone, in fact, many people find social interaction to be pretty draining. That’s actually alright.
However, if you are the type of person who derives energy from being around friends and family, you want to watch out for patterns that have you spending more time by yourself. Spending too much time away from others can lead to isolation and depression.
You may want to use therapy to explore why this shift in behavior has occurred, and whether there is an underlying reason for it.
You are feeling overwhelmed by situations you are normally able to handle.
Sometimes there are just too many things happing at the same time. Work, family, relationships, and finances can create stressful conditions that can make anyone feel like it’s just too much to handle.
Over time you can begin to feel as if you are being worn down little by little. The situations you used to be able to juggle successfully are becoming more difficult for you to deal with and you’re not sure why.
If you are starting to feel as if life is becoming a little too hard, it is a sure sign that you may need some guidance as to how to balance your mental and emotional state of mind.
You no longer care for the people or things that used to make you happy.
Feelings of apathy toward people or activities that used to bring you joy are a sign that your mind is attempting to remove itself from an emotionally stressful environment.
Even if you don’t feel particularly stressed, a slow and creeping lack of motivation is an indicator that something may be wrong. Don’t ignore what your thoughts and emotions are trying to tell you.
You are beginning to experience feelings of hopelessness, that life may not be worth living.
In circumstances of extreme distress, it is possible to spiral down into some pretty dark thoughts that likely don’t have a strong basis in reality.
Once you begin to think that you don’t have a future, it can lead to negative thought patterns which can make it extremely hard to function in your daily life. Even worse you may even begin to have thoughts about harming yourself or someone else.
These are all signs that your mental and emotional state of mind is out of balance. Therapy can help correct it.
There is nothing wrong with asking for help, and you do not have to wait until things get bad before you do.
Start a healthy relationship with a therapist that you trust today.
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