5 Signs You Need A Therapist

African American man seriousIf you’re taking cues from reality TV, chances are you think therapy is a last resort effort to restore sanity. Only truth is, everyone experiences periods of stress, sadness, grief and conflict. In fact, one in five American adults suffer from some form of mental illness. However, due to the stigma and many myths attached to treatment, especially for African Americans, only about 45-65 percent with moderate-to-severe impairment get the help they need, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) says.

But, we get it. Our society has us programmed to believe that if we work hard, everything else will fall into place. Log into this app and watch all your worries melt away. Take an “Eat, Pray, Love” trip around the world and return a brand new you. Suffering from anxiety? Try yoga. While these options may work to a certain extent (for a period of time), in some situations, we’re just not equipped with the know how to make it through the rain.

Aside from restless suffering, those who go untreated and are in distress may actually make the problem worse by avoiding professional help. While, on the flip side, science tells us that speaking our fears and goals out loud to someone (preferably in person) can be a powerful tool for overcoming emotional pain. So, how does one know when it’s time to seek therapy?

Here’s 5 things to consider:

1. Everything you feel is intense.

Ever felt like you’re on an emotional roller coaster? While it’s totally normal to feel angry and sad, if you regularly feel overcome with anger, anxiety, grief or guilt this may be a sign of an underlying issue. In a 2013 study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry, 54 percent of people with depression reported feeling hostile, grumpy, argumentative, foul-tempered or angry.

In fact, when untreated, frequently having a short fuse can significantly impair your ability to function; whether it be at home, work or in school.