Signs You Need to See a Therapist for Anxiety Counseling
Stress and anxiety are a normal part of being human. In fact, we need some amount to motivate us to act, pursue, and make changes in our life. Otherwise, we’d be little more than blobs on the couch stuck in inertia. An example of productive anxiety is worrying that you’ll get a cavity if you don’t brush your teeth, so you make sure to do so every day even if you need to drag yourself to do it. Or, you’ve been so unhappy in your job that you dread going every day so you finally take the step of applying elsewhere.
Of course, there comes a point where anxiety and stress becomes unproductive, overwhelming, and exhausting. So, how do you know when it’s time to seek support with an anxiety therapist? Truthfully, I don’t believe that anxiety has to reach any certain point or that there needs to be anything “seriously wrong” in order for you to seek help. Having the support of a therapist can help you navigate life’s natural ups and downs at any time. With that said, this list is not exhaustive. These are just a few points to check into when considering therapy.
Physical symptoms – Anxiety is a full mind and body experience. When you’re anxious, you can feel a general sense of unease in your body. For many people, it’s not as much the thoughts of worry and rumination, rather than the feeling of an adrenaline rush, a racing heart, tingling in your hands or feet, dizziness, nausea, and/or headaches that are most distressing.
It’s interfering with your daily life – While I don’t believe that anything has to be “that bad” in order for you to seek support, it’s a telling sign when you’re not able to keep up with your basic day-to-day tasks and needs. If you’re having a hard time falling or staying asleep that’s a strong indication that anxiety and stress is impacting your life. You might be behind at work because you’re having difficulty concentrating, and find yourself dissociating or checking-out. The laundry is piling, and the dishes have been stacking up for days. Procrastination also lets us know there’s likely anxiety behind whatever the task is you’re avoiding. Forgetting to eat, losing your appetite, or stress-eating are ways that anxiety might be getting in the way of our basic self-care.
It’s affecting your relationships – There is so much to go into here as the topic of anxiety in relationships is rich and layered. One of my favorite areas of expertise in my therapy practice is working with an anxious attachment style. One of the more obvious sings that anxiety is impacting your relationships is that it gets in the way of communication. You either withhold out of fear that your partner won’t understand you, or you worry that you’ll upset them. Or you over-communicate, and constantly seek reassurance. Maybe you become possessive, jealous, and behave in a controlling way. You’re afraid they’ll leave you. When you’re feeling insecure, irrational thoughts about the relationship may cause arguments. People pleasing is another way fear and anxiety is lurking underneath. You may find yourself over giving without receiving the same energy, affection, or love in return.
You feel lost or alone – The most significant sign that it’s time to seek help with an anxiety therapist is you feel lost and alone in it. You don’t know what you need, or how to start the process of healing. You might be overwhelmed trying to figure it out. Maybe you’ve done some Google searching, but you’re not sure which tools or approaches would best suit you. Rest assured, you’ve already taken the first step of recognition and awareness that something feels off just by reading this post.
If you can relate to any of these, the next step is to reach out. Even if you’re not sure, we can talk about whether therapy is right for you. You can check out my blog about helpful questions to ask during a consultation as well to make the process easier. Anxiety is rough, but there is a way through it. I’m here to support you in your goals to feel relaxed, secure, and confident.