” I need help” is a tricky phrase.
Everyone has their demons that they have to get up to in the morning and fight for the rest of the day. It is hard. Sometimes you win, other times you lose.
But there is a point where you just can’t fight it alone any longer. And that is when you put your hand up and say “I need help”.
Just saying “I need psychological help” does not make you weak. It does not mean that you are crazy. In fact, it simply means that you are a normal human being who cares about their own mental health.
In this article, I am going to tell you:
- It is not all in your head– mental health problems are REAL
- How your mental health affects your life and the importance of treating mental health disorders
- How to know when you need help
- What to do when you need help
- How we can help!
So, without further ado, let’s begin!
It is NOT all in your head– mental health problems are REAL
Have you ever been ashamed of going for a general health check-up? In most cases, the answer would be no.
I can tell you that your mental health is as important as your physical health and that going to see a psychologist or a counsellor is no different from visiting a doctor. But if we are being honest, you would still feel uncomfortable telling your friends and family that you are seeking psychological help.
So instead, I’m going to tell you that you don’t have to tell anyone anything you don’t want to. As long as you know that your mental health is important and that you are doing everything in your power to take care of it.
Anxiety, depression and OCD are serious problems that when unacknowledged have the potential to really ruin your life. The same goes for other lesser known mental health issues.
What most people do not recognise is that things that may seem common– fighting with a spouse, arguing with your children, feeling unhappy at work, etc are symptoms of a bigger issue. This could be something that you grew up with, something that you are not aware of. For example, frequent fights with your family could reflect that you have a narcissistic personality due to which you need to be right all the time.
Would you be able to diagnose this on your own? No.
Does that make you a bad person? Of course not. It is like the colour of your skin. It is simply something you are born with. However, getting professional help from a psychologist could help you work around your problem and therefore, have a better relationship with your family.
At the end of the day it is important to recognise that such professionals have knowledge that you do not have. They have studied the human psyche in detail for years. They are not studying pseudo-science or fiction. Mental health problems are very very real and if left unchecked can destroy lives the same way physical illnesses do.
Effects of mental health on your life– importance of treating mental disorders
Your mental health can have a major impact on your physical health as well.
- Some of the main symptoms of mental health issues like depression are either extreme loss of weight or weight gain.
- Similarly, it affects your social, occupational and personal life as well. The short term effects of mental health issues can be self- isolation leading to various negative feelings and emotions.
- Some mental health disorders can lead to more disorders. For example, social anxiety can lead to eating disorders due to undesired physical traits.
- The use of drugs to treat these issues can also have various side effects affecting your lifestyle.
- It can affect your daily functioning as well. Some mental disorders can lead to lack of concentration.
It is important to treat these mental health disorders as it can have a negative impact on their lives and an early diagnosis of mental health issues will help them lead a healthier life.
How to know when you need help
As a rule, psychologists diagnose you with a mental issue or disorder on the three bases:
- Your problem is affecting your work life or your occupational life: your problems keep you from working or concentrating on your work, your productivity at work has declined or you are feeling extremely anxious or dreading work.
- Your problem is affecting your social life: you do not talk to your closest friends enough, you feel like an outsider in your friend circle, you don’t feel like there is anyone who has your back.
- Your problem is affecting your personal life: your moods and diet have been inconsistent, your sleeping pattern is disturbed, you are not interested in things that you used to like doing, you have regular energy slumps.
However, these are very broad criteria. The best way to decide whether or not you need therapy is simply to follow your gut. If you have been feeling down, or you feel like talking to someone, or you feel like you have any symptoms of a particular disease– go see a therapist.
On that thought, I would also like to request you to not self-diagnose. Firstly because you are not a qualified person to do so. Secondly because you might overestimate or underestimate your problem. Thirdly, you could miss the real problem altogether.
Think of it as a common cold. If you have been sneezing and coughing for a few days, you might book a consultation with a doctor. It might turn out to be a common cold, or it could be something worse. Whatever it is, you leave the diagnosis and prescription to the doctor.
Either way, the doctor is going to try and cure you. However, if you hadn’t gone to the doctor (and taken his advice) you may have a really serious problem right now.
When you start thinking of mental problems the same way you think of physical ones, the decision becomes quite simple really.
What to do when you need help
The logical step after the diagnosis is of course taking the medication for the prescribed course. We have an entire article dedicated to this section called ‘How to get psychological help’ which you can read here.
Meanwhile, I will give you a little rundown of how you can get the help you need. There are two roads you can go down at this point:
- Face-to-face counselling: this is the traditional way. You search up ‘psychologists near me’ on Google, pick one that you like, book an appointment and talk to them face-to-face.
- Online counselling: if you are short on time (or are stuck in quarantine), this is perfect for you. It is not only extremely convenient (like talk to your therapist in your pajamas convenient) but you can talk to your therapist anytime you want. There are a variety of options under online counselling– via video calls, text messages, emails, etc.
In the article I mentioned earlier, I give a table of pros and cons. You can check that out if you cannot make up your mind right now.
The main thing is to take the first step and book an appointment. After that, you can leave everything in the very capable hands of your therapist.
Of course if you don’t want to jump the gun and dip your toe in the water first. You can try psychometric tests. These tests (when conducted by certified psychologist) give you a detailed individual evaluation of your personality, problems and potential areas where you might have issues. Think of it as a general wellness check up.
How we can help!
PsychOWLogist offers many such tests for different issues of concern. These are an extremely affordable way of figuring out if you are ready to spend a few dollars on counselling. Some of these test are:
- The Depression and Anxiety Scale test
- The Big Five Personality Test
- Open Hemispheric Brain Dominance Scale
- Attention Assessment
You will receive a full individual evaluation of the results of these psychometric tests conducted by a certified psychologist. After this you can decide whether to proceed with the counselling sessions or not.
Speaking of counselling, you don’t have to go too far to find therapists either. In fact, PsychOWLogist has a team of accredited psychologists who have had extensive experience in counselling and psychotherapy. Along with a long and varied client list, they are also one of the friendliest and warmest people you will meet.
Ethics like confidentiality, privacy and professionalism are taken extremely seriously by every member of the PsychOWLogist team. So you can be rest assured that you and your mental health are in safe hands.
Whatever path you decide on, just don’t ignore your problems. You know the old-fashioned saying– the only real way to ward off your demons is to face them, is quite true. If you think you are ready to talk to someone, or take a test, don’t hesitate to contact us. We would be very happy to help you out.