We live in a culture that values independence and hardwork, but this also comes with a huge
dose of isolation, both socially and emotionally. The US’s mental health track record has not been peachy over the past few years. In 2017-2018, 19% of adults experienced mental illness, and 17% of youth did as well in 2016. These numbers have worsened since the COVID-19 pandemic. Suicidal ideation has increased since 2020, and among youth, more are suffering from major depression than in years prior. We need support now more than ever before, but it can be hard to reach out for help as we all dive back into our busy lives.
So, should you?
Here are some potential signs that indicate it might be time for you to seek help:
1. Your productivity has dropped
That report was due five days ago and your boss is less than pleased because it’s
happened one too many times. Your grades are dropping, or the idea of doing essential
tasks overwhelms you. The hobbies you typically enjoy are no longer enjoyable. That
meeting you skipped should have only been an email, but your laundry pile has
consumed your chair. These are just a few examples, but the point is this: If you’ve
noticed that your relationship with the things you do has shifted in unanticipated ways, a
therapist can help you sort through why that could be, and get you back on track.
2. Your productivity is fine, but there are caveats
You’re employee of the month again (sixteen times in a row!). But you fall asleep at your
desk and haven’t eaten anything besides microwave mac-and-cheese cups for three
weeks because you don’t have time to make anything else. Sure, your productivity is
high, but it’s contingent on 5 cups of coffee a day in order to feel motivated and focused.
Whether it’s this or something else, you’ve noticed that your day to day quality of life is
severely skewed or unbalanced, and you’re not any happier for it. The good news is that
a therapist might be able to help you rebalance your life in a way that works for you.
3. You’re telling yourself to “man up”
“Manning up” is overrated. Depressive disorders and substance abuse disorders are the
most common causes of attempted suicide, according to John’s Hopkins. And while
women are diagnosed more with mood disorders and more likely to attempt suicide, men
are far more likely to die from suicide––78% of suicide victims are men. What’s more is
that only 36% of men seek mental treatment compared to 44% of women. So, to all the
guys out there, don’t man up. It’s okay if you’re angry, sad, confused, depressed, or
something else. Big or small, you don’t have to take it on the chin and bear it. Reach out.
There’s help out there for you too.
4. You’re curious about what therapy’s like
Curiosity is reason enough! Consider this an open invitation. What is it you’d like to talk
about? Our door is wide open.
5. You’re human
There’s a misconception that someone needs to suffer from a mental health crisis to
seek therapy, or that those are the only kinds of people in therapy, which couldn’t be
further from the truth. People seek out therapy for all kinds of reasons, mental health
concerns being just one of them. Career counseling, self-discovery, sports psychology,
family or workplace dynamics, you name it. The fact of the matter is, anyone can benefit
from therapy, for any reason. If it’s important to you and it’s affecting your life, a therapist
could offer guidance and support. You deserve help too, just as much as anyone else.