When is the right time to seek help? Why is it important to seek help?
We often hear about someone seeking help or being in therapy. We may also think about how necessary therapy is and does it really help? The thought of seeking help for ourselves would have brought up several questions in our mind such as, is it for me? Do I need it? Will it help? Is therapy even something?
It may lead to thoughts like,” “This is just a trend,” “I am strong enough to deal with my problems on my own,” “There is no problem with me, I don’t need therapy,” “Time is a healer,”
All said and done, all of us at some point in time are dealing with something. This can be something that is bothering us, interfering in our day to day activities or some skill that exists within us that we want to make better. Although we try to deal with these things all by ourselves, getting a little assistance may be helpful.
The notion that psychotherapyis only for people who have a problem or mental illness is not entirely accurate. Yes, therapy is a part of the treatment process for mental illnesses, however there is a broader space in which therapy has a role to play.
Psychotherapy deals with the ‘3Ds’ namely:
Mental illnesses come under the disorder space that psychotherapy deals with. In this disorder space, therapy is provided as a treatment for mental illness and may be accompanied with medication treatment. Therapy plays an important role in the long lasting effect of the treatment.
As humans most of us if not all have experienced emotional distress at some point of time in our life. This could be in the presence of major life events or major changes, adversities that we are experiencing in our immediate environment or an experience of everyday hassles.
The distress can reflect in the intensity of emotions that we feel, interfere with our ability to think clearly or ruminate on thoughts and are observed in our behaviour such as avoidance, aggression, apathy, restlessness and others.
Although we try to deal with these distresses using different coping strategies, therapy helps in analysing, understanding and tweaking these coping strategies if not creating new ones. Therapy helps us to have more effective coping strategies in our inventory, which can be used as and when we require them along with these coping strategies having long term effectiveness.
Also read: Best Psychiatrists and Mental Health Clinics in Mumbai
The space of disorders and distress does hold true to the notion that therapy is for people who have problems, however the space of development is where psychotherapy’s actual depth and reach can be observed.
The space of development is a space of opportunity in which a person can attempt to truly tap and harness their full potential. This could be in the form of a skill development, new or existing. This space does not require the person to have a problem. It is more about the person’s desire to work on themselves and seek help for the process through therapy.
In all the three spaces therapy facilitates the process of increasing the understanding and awareness that one has about themselves or their problems.
So now that we know the important role that therapy can play in our lives, when is the right time to seek help?
The American Psychological Association suggests seeking help when we are experiencing distress and it is interfering with different areas of our life.
It is definitely important to seek help from mental health professionals if we are getting thoughts about harming ourselves or others in anyway.
The approach is to prevent the distress from growing further into a mental health concern.
However, similar to physical health in which good physical health is not only the absence of an illness but feeling healthy, mental health is also not only about not having or feeling distressed or an absence of an illness but also about having an overall all feeling of wellbeing.
To feel physically healthy, we may follow a diet or exercise daily. We may seek help from physical health experts, nutritionists or physical trainers to reach our physical health goals. Similarly, in mental health we can learn the techniques and strategies to manage our mental health from trained mental health professionals and practice these techniques on a regular basis to experience a state of wellbeing. In this particular context we can seek help at any point in time when we choose to take care and maintain our mental health.
Thus, rather than viewing therapy only as a tool to help us deal with our distress effectively, we can approach therapy keeping our wellbeing in mind and view therapy as a choice of empowering ourselves with knowledge that can help us learn to choose how we want to feel and exercise that choice effectively.
What to seek help? Get in touch with our expert clinical team: https://mpowerminds.com/seekhelp