9 Signs Now Is the Time to Start Counseling


Given the difficulties and changes we’ve all faced in the last year, you’re not alone if you find yourself asking “do I need counseling?” Many people, as many as 1 in 6 Americans, have started therapy in the last year alone.

In recent years, the stigma surrounding mental illness has started to lift. However, there are still some people who think that needing therapy is a sign of weakness. But nothing could be further from the truth.

If you’ve asked yourself “do I need counseling for depression,” keep reading. We’ve outlined the signs that you may need counseling and some might surprise you.

1. You Feel Overwhelmed

Even if you don’t notice yourself dealing with intense emotions, you could be causing yourself to become overwhelmed. Even when we can’t place the feelings we’re experiencing, they still can leave a permanent mark on our brains and bodies.

Feeling overwhelmed can damage your ability to act rationally or think clearly. Sometimes, performing daily tasks becomes unmanageable.

Therapy, like the kind received at counseling, can help you deal with the underlying causes of your emotional overwhelm.

2. Your Sleeping or Eating Patterns Have Changed

It’s normal for your eating and sleeping habits to change somewhat throughout your life. But if you find that you are having a hard time sleeping or a hard time staying awake, it could be a sign that you’re battling depression.

Your sleep and your mental health are closely linked. If your mental condition starts to decline, you become prone to insomnia.

Sleep deprivation can also lead to negative thinking patterns that leave you feeling worse.

The same can be said for eating. If you think you’ve started to over-eat or under-eat to help control your emotions, that’s a sign you may need therapy.

3. You’re Struggling in the Relationship Department

When our mental health starts to decline, it becomes more difficult to maintain relationships. Isolation and distance from other people are the cornerstones of any mental illness. When you’re in a mental health slump, what you need is more people around you to give you support, not less.

A therapist will be able to help talk you through the difficult aspects of keeping relationships. They can even help guide you on how to navigate them, set boundaries, and find more fulfillment in them.

4. You Have a Feeling of Hopelessness

Depression and feeling hopeless go hand in hand. When our brain doesn’t create enough of the chemicals it needs to keep us happy, it causes us to get stuck in negative thought cycles.

These can lead to feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. Those feelings can lead to intrusive thoughts, suicidal ideation, and they could lead to more serious health concerns if left untreated.

5. Your Anxiety Consumes You

A normal amount of anxiety is healthy. Anxiety is our body’s natural way of telling us when we should be cautious. But when you’re experiencing an anxiety disorder, counseling could help.

Your counselor could help you learn how to deal and cope with these thoughts. They could give you tools and resources to help manage them.

Some other practices, like yoga and meditation, are also great additions to any counseling program.

6. Your Emotions are Uncontrollable

If you’ve noticed that your emotions swing in a way that you can’t control, you should seek counseling. Uncontrollable swings in emotion could be a sign that you have a more serious mental health condition.

Mood disorders are common among adults in the United States. A few of the more common mood disorders are:

  • Major depression
  • Bipolar disorder
  • Borderline personality disorder

Again, these are disorders that have the weight of stigma attached to them. But there is no shame in seeking help when and where you need it. Counseling can help get you on the right track to taking control of your emotions again.

7. You’ve Lost Interest

One sign of depression is a loss of interest in things you’ve previously enjoyed. Depression is a disorder that can completely zap us of all energy to do anything. Merely existing can be difficult when you’re depressed.

So if you’ve noticed that your hobbies have started to bore you or your favorite shows just aren’t scratching the itch like they used to, it could be a sign that you have depression. Talking to a counselor can help you determine if that’s the case and if so, can start you on a path to treatment so you can get your life back.

8. You’ve Experienced Trauma or Loss

If you’ve experienced a recent trauma or loss, it’s a good idea to seek counseling even if you don’t notice any of the other symptoms. Our bodies do a good job of making us think that we’re okay, even when we’re not. But talking to a professional when you’re dealing with trauma and grief can help guide you through already difficult processes.

9. Your Work or School Performance Has Decreased

If you’ve noticed a decline in your work or school performance, it could mean that you’re dealing with depression or another mental health disorder.

When we’re dealing with the brain fog, lack of sleep, and confusion that goes hand in hand with depression, it becomes difficult to concentrate. Grades start to go down, work performance slows, and you could start facing consequences that can leave you without a job.

Therapy can help make sure you’re managing and can help you medicate any underlying mood disorders.

Do I Need Counseling? Taking the Guesswork Out of Therapy

If you’re still asking yourself “do I need counseling” the answer is probably yes. There are very few people in the world who wouldn’t benefit from counseling in some way. But if you’ve noticed the above 9 things in your everyday life, then you should book an appointment with an intake counselor immediately.

Help is out there for anyone who needs it. Remember, you’re not alone.

For more tips on how to live your healthiest life, keep reading.