Could you benefit from therapy?
We all have bad days. But the stress of the pandemic has turned those bad days into weeks and months, and large numbers of people are struggling with mental health issues.
New NHS figures in the UK suggest more than 50% of people were concerned about their mental health last year – and around half also suffered from stress, anxiety, low mood or depression. However, the majority did not seek professional help.
Nicola Roberts of Girls Aloud says, “I’m someone who has benefited immensely from talk therapy. I think there’s such a taboo around it that people almost feel like they failed or weren’t strong enough to figure out a situation on their own. But if you feel like you can’t see the wood from the trees or the light at the end of the tunnel, reaching out is imperative, because you can’t always do it alone.
Stephen Buckley, of mental health charity Mind, said: “The pandemic has had a huge impact on the nation’s mental health and wellbeing. Many people tell us they are afraid to seek help for their mental health because they don’t think their problems are serious enough to bother the NHS. But the sooner people start treatment for their mental health, the more likely they are to recover. Treatment becomes more intensive and expensive as people get sicker.
Buckley says different types of talk therapy work for different people, so it’s important they have the choice of receiving support face-to-face or virtually. But he insists: “If you have had mental health problems for more than two weeks, or if your symptoms keep coming back, talk to your GP.”
But how do you know if the way you are feeling is serious enough to warrant professional help?
“There are times when the signs that you might need additional professional support aren’t obvious,” says Dee Johnson, a therapist at mental health care provider The Priory Group, who is cognitive behavioral therapy. (TCC) and a mindfulness practitioner. “It’s because our own perception of how we think and feel adapts over time, and some people are just beginning to accept that this is how they will always feel. They acclimate to this. which are, in fact, mental health issues.
“Signs can also be subtle, as mental health issues are not necessarily overt, dramatic or extreme. Many people get used to hiding and minimizing their feelings and wearing an emotional mask. It’s a myth that things can’t be so bad if you’re still able to go to work or manage a household.
Johnson says signs you should seek professional help for your mental health include…
You feel more withdrawn and spend more time alone.
2. Decline social invitations
You say no to invitations or find last-minute excuses not to commit to something. “It happens when we think it’s better to avoid than to deal with something that feels overwhelming,” says Johnson.
3. Feeling more anxious, nervous and/or worried
“When things that have never caused you anxiety before – like driving a car or social gatherings – start to do so, over time, the feeling of not feeling safe spreads to almost every aspect of your life. your life and becomes overwhelming,” Johnson says.
4. Ignore Messages
The way you feel may mean that you even have trouble answering phone calls, text messages or emails.
5. You don’t like things anymore
Johnson says a condition called anhedonia means you no longer find pleasure or joy in activities, or even people you used to love. “It’s actually a very distressing place and it raises anxiety levels,” she says.
6. You feel lonely and empty.
Johnson says people with mental health issues may have an internal sense of shame, lack of worth, and feel emptiness and loneliness. “It can affect you, even if you have people you love in your life,” she warns.
7. You don’t feel connected to others.
Mental health issues can present as a feeling of being disconnected from others, Johnson says.
8. You constantly put yourself down
If you have mental health issues, your self-talk may be low and negative, and you may still put yourself down.