How Do I Know If I Need A Therapist For Depression?
Life isn’t fair.
That’s something you’ve heard before, and even if you haven’t, it’s something you have probably learned by now from experience. This phrase certainly has a negative connotation, but when you think about it, it’s not necessarily a negative sentiment.
Sure, sometimes things happen that you did nothing to deserve. Examples could be stepping in some dog droppings in the street, and other times you get something you don’t deserve by finding a twenty dollar bill in that same street.
The random chaos of everyday life will result in some lows, sure, but also in some highs.
Sometimes people get stuck thinking about the lows and get depressed. No, not everyone who has been depressed at one period in their life needs to see a therapist. Everyone gets depressed at some point or another, and usually all it takes is a little time to get back up.
However, sometimes time passes, and the depression is still there. There are many people who would benefit from seeing a therapist about their depression if only to talk and try and ferret out the root cause and what can be done about it.
Let’s go over a couple warning signs that, if present, should tip you off that yes, it is indeed time to go see a therapist.
Your Depression Stems from Severe Emotional Trauma
There are degrees of depression. Some people are just bored with the monotony of everyday life. Wake up, go to work at a dull job, count off the hours, and come back home, go to sleep, repeat.
That can be depressing, but it isn’t exactly emotional trauma, which can lead to severe depression. If you’ve recently experienced the death of a close relative or friend, or you’re going through a divorce, you should strongly consider reaching out to a therapist.
It’s a common movie trope: the grizzled veteran back from war self-medicates with alcohol, or opiates, or whatever else they can get their hands on to numb the memories of terror and gore.
Self-medication isn’t just in the movies: it happens plenty in real life. And it doesn’t happen just to those who have been traumatized like that “vet back home” stereotype. Housewives, mailmen, schoolteachers self-medicate sometimes, too. There are many people who live normal, non-traumatizing lives, and yet are depressed and abuse drugs.
Suicidal Thoughts or Intent
Sometimes the sadness or depression seems overwhelming and it feels like it will never get better. This is one of the most important times to reach out for support and treatment. It may be the time where it is hardest to reach out, but seeing a therapist during this time can be monumental in finding that happy life again.
- Depressed mood
- Less interest in typically pleasurable activities
- Decrease in appetite or significant weight loss
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
These signs can help you decide if you should see a therapist or not, but they certainly don’t have to be present for you to seek help.
The issues above are by no means the only reasons to see a therapist for depression, if you just want to talk to somebody or change your life, that’s all that matters.