by Andrea M. Darcy
There are common reasons we can benefit from therapy, covered in our article “Do You Need Therapy?“.
But there are other, less talked about behaviours and thoughts that might also suggest it’s time to talk to a therapist.
12 Questions that show it’s time to talk to a therapist
Read on to see if you answer yes to any of the following questions.
1. Do you often feel that nobody understands you?
It’s normal for teenagers to feel misunderstood.
But if you have reached your late 20s or beyond and still feel misunderstood, it can be related to intimacy, identity, or communication problems. These are often traced back to the way we were parented or even childhood trauma, so it’s a good idea to talk to a therapist.
Note that sometimes, if the way you see the world is always diametrically at odds with everyone else, it might be a sign that you have a personality disorder.
2. Over the age of 30, but have failed to sustain a relationship for more than six months?
It’s often a fear of intimacy or faulty ways of relating we don’t even realise we have that leave us lonely. A therapist can not only help you see and understand the problem clearly, they create a safe space to learn how to trust.
If you fall in love constantly, but it’s over a few months later, or tend to have push and pull relationships, it might also be a sign of borderline personality disorder. Which is hard to deal with alone, meaning it can be a great benefit to talk to a therapist.
3. Are you always tired, no matter how much sleep you get?
If you’ve had a health check and the doctor can’t find anything, it’s worth it to talk to a therapist. Constant fatigue is actually a sign of depression.
It might be that there is something upsetting you more than you realised, and dealing with it might be the fastest way to get your energy back.
4. Are you often told that you are too impulsive?
We are all spontaneous now and then. But if your impulsivity tends to sabotage your wellbeing – your relationships, your career – then it might be more than just an occasional flight of fancy.
A high level of impulsivity is often reported in those who suffered childhood trauma. It’s also a leading symptom of borderline personality disorder (BPD).
[Read more in our article, ‘What is Impulsivity?‘.]
5. In a relationship you aren’t quite happy in, but you just can’t leave?
Not being able to leave a relationship is often a sign of low self-worth and/or codependency. These are deep-rooted patterns it can be extremely hard to shift without support. And the longer you stay, the lower your self-worth can drop, leading to depression.
6. Suffer from ongoing physical symptoms that your family doctor simply can’t figure out?
For some, it’s just ongoing muscle tension or sleep problems that are a sign something is not right mentally and you are suffering from anxiety or depression. But for others, it can unexplained medical symptoms that just keep recurring.
It’s not fully understood why some people manifest physical symptoms when they are mentally suffering. But if this might be you, therapy can’t hurt and just might improve your physical health.
7. Do you think that life is meant to be hard and you are born unlucky?
Are all your thoughts negative? Do you tend to think in extremes? And is there any doom and gloom in there?
Negative thinking is a major cause of low moods. It leads to a cycle of negative feelings and then negative life choices that keep you stuck in a downward spiral.
Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) helps you break this cycle and learn how to practice balanced thinking. It can be like opening a window you didn’t know was there.
8. Have you recently moved country? But have never thought to talk to a therapist?
It all seems so exciting, at first. And then you feel lonely, lost, and disconnected.
A move to a different country is actually a common cause of anxiety, depression, and also relationship problems if you’ve moved as a couple or family. And if you’ve been struggling for a few months or more, it’s more than enough of a reason to reach out to a counsellor over.
[Sound like you? Read our piece on the “Moving Abroad Blues.”]
9. Do you find it hard to say no to others?
Are you exhausted from always doing things that don’t really interest you because you say yes when you mean to say no? Or even find yourself in relationships because you didn’t know how to let someone down? It’s all a sign that you lack personal boundaries.
It’s a hard pattern to change, but if you talk to a therapist you can learn why you have this issue and how to take back your personal power.
10. Do you think that the world is a very dangerous place?
If your feeling that the world is dangerous is pervasive, and not just when you read the news or have a bad experience, it is likely you have a strong negative core belief.
The core belief that the world is a dangerous place often stems from childhood trauma. Left untreated, it can mean you don’t reach your potential, or sabotage good things in life to ‘prove’ your belief true.
11. Do you wake up in the middle of the night with a pounding heart?
There are many medical conditions, such as menopause, that can be a factor here. But if your doctor finds you in good health, read about night anxiety. Some of us manage to suppress our anxiety in the day, resulting in constant nightly anxiety attacks. Treating the anxiety can put an end to sleepless nights.
12. Do you really, truly, hate your job?
Yes, many of us do some jobs we don’t like until we establish ourselves.
But if you have always done jobs you hate, it might not be ‘just life’. It might be that deep down you lack confidence, or that you are so afraid of upsetting others it stops you from both leaving or asking for a promotion.
Talk therapies are actually very useful for workplace issues, helping you clarify what you truly want and finally make those steps forward.
Sound like you? Harley Therapy’s clinics connect you with registered and experienced therapists in central London, including Harley Street. Or peruse our sister site harleytherapy.com where you can book UK-based registered therapists online.
Andrea M. Darcy is a mental health and wellbeing expert and writer. She also runs a consultancy helping people find their perfect therapy and therapist. Follow her on Instagram for useful life tips @am_darcy