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When you’re struggling with depression, anxiety, or some other mental health condition, it can feel like a huge weight is crushing you down. It’s not uncommon to feel so overwhelmed by your symptoms that you think you’ll never be able to overcome them. But, you don’t have to feel like you’re trapped in a dark hole. If you’re feeling hopeless about your situation, it might be time to consider seeing a therapist. Here are 5 reasons why seeing a therapist can help.

Feeling “different” from friends and family. Many people don’t think that their partners, friends, parents, siblings, kids, etc., understand them. They believe they are fundamentally different from the people that they’ve surrounded themselves with. Remember: You are not alone. Many people feel that way. It’s normal to be different. And it is worth exploring.

Wanting to think positively, but being unaware of the obstacles that keep us grounded in negative thinking. Unfortunately, telling yourself to “be positive” or “choose to be happy” isn’t going to be enough to effect change. It might be a start for some people, but there also may be greater obstacles to tackle.

Are you avoiding activities or people, or avoiding time with those that cause you to compare yourself to them? Avoidance only increases the extent to which you view these thoughts as true and powerful.

Are you in a relationship with someone who emphasizes these thoughts, or someone who emphasizes the flaws that cause you to get into that mindset? There may be external and internal factors to consider.

Feeling alone in our thoughts and reporting a sense of isolation and loneliness.  Maybe there’s a theme here. Our thoughts can do this to us. If we keep them to ourselves and treat them as facts, our thoughts might seem “crazy” or isolating or overwhelming. But if you can take a step back and acknowledge that a thought is just a thought, and not a fact, you might be able to remove yourself from this isolation.

reasons to see a therapist

Experiencing self-doubt. We all think, feel, and behave in the same way. The only thing that’s different is how we put together those pieces of who we are. Everyone has doubts about themselves. And guess what? We all make mistakes. Sometimes you do a bad job. The difference is how we treat these thoughts, and what we do behaviorally to increase positive thoughts and positive mood states at the same time. Do you isolate yourself after something bad happens? Or do you seek out someone to talk to or engage in an activity you know will boost your mood?

Avoiding negative feelings, rather than spending time getting curious about them and what they may be telling us. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could go through life and never feel sad? Unfortunately, our brains aren’t wired that way, and if you think about it, how would you know what it was like to be happy if you never felt sad? Feelings are important for a number of reasons, one of which is that they are information for us. Feelings guide us.

Therapy can be a powerful tool to help you work through your problems. It’s not a cure-all, and it won’t make you feel better right away. But, therapy can help you understand your feelings, identify your goals, and help you to develop new coping strategies. It can also help you to understand yourself better and how you’re interacting with the world around you.  We all struggle with things from time to time. In fact, it’s part of being human. It’s the only way to grow and develop.

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