Many times, we wonder when to go to a psychologist, since the decision to ask for professional help is never easy. It always costs, even if it’s not the first time. Generally, we respond to a process in which we become aware of what is happening to us.
In addition, the decision to go to therapy is often surrounded by misleading myths and stigmas. In this article, we tell you what the reasons are for going to a psychologist and we deny those prejudices that are often attributed to psychological therapies.
Reasons to go to the psychologist
There is no time or circumstance to ask a professional for help, it is a totally subjective decision. There are people who, faced with the same situation — grief or feelings of loneliness — live it in a totally different way and, to face it, they may or may not need help.
The decision to go to the psychologist does not mean failure or weakness, but it is an act of maturity. We all have moments in life when it is difficult for us to deal with a situation, and just as enduring physical pain does not make sense, neither does enduring emotional pain.
In addition, we do not go to the psychologist only when we have annoying emotions or feel that the situation overwhelms us. Also, we can go to therapy when we have to make an important decision in our life. In this way, we can delve deeper into our needs and have a clearer vision of the life we want.
10 signs that indicate when to go to a psychologist
1. Medically unexplained pain or discomfort
Many times emotional pain manifests itself in our bodies. Stress, for example, can trigger chronic stomach aches and headaches, lead to colds, or alter the relationship with food—decreased appetite or binge eating.
2. Addiction problems
Many people take refuge in addictive substances, drinks or activities to avoid emotional problems. This type of behavior offers temporary solutions that make the situation worse.
3. Emotional disconnection
A sign that something is not right in our mental health is when we stop enjoying things that we used to like. Generalized disappointment, the feeling that nothing makes sense and unhappiness are problems that can be treated by psychologists. These can help you reconnect with your emotions.
4. Troubled relationships
If we are going through difficult times in our relationships and have difficulty communicating how we feel, a good option is to consult a psychological professional.
5. Worried Close Circle
Our friends and family are the ones who know us best, so it is important to listen to them when they show concern for us. Many times, we deny our problems and a warning sign to pay attention to is the opinion of those who love us the most.
6. Difficulty dealing with problems
Many times, we must deal with specific problems, such as the diagnosis of a chronic illness, work difficulties or the proximity of an important exam. These situations can generate anxiety, anguish, depression or other more serious psychological problems if they are not treated.
7. Improve the ability to express emotions
Not all reasons to go to a psychologist should be negative. We can also go to therapy in order to get to know ourselves better, improve our abilities and acquire tools that facilitate our relationship with the world. By improving our ability to express emotions, we will be able to interact with our environment in a smarter and healthier way.
Unresolved trauma can severely affect our mental health. These can cause other problems such as manic-compulsive disorders, depression, insomnia or other symptoms that are very harmful to our minds. For this reason, it is especially important to go to therapy after suffering any type of trauma: accidents, abuse, duels, violent situations, etc.
9. Go through a complex situation
There are moments in life when we are calmer and others that are more difficult to go through. In these moments when we feel that the situation is beyond us and that we have no control over it, it is advisable to ask for psychological help. The professional will give us tools to cope in the best possible way with the situation we must face.
10. Facing major changes
Changes are always moving. They can be positive or negative, but they always imply leaving something behind, which implies, in a certain way, going through a duel for what will not return. Therapy is a good option when going through change, creating tools and strategies to let go of the old and receive the new in the best way.
What will you find in the psychological therapy session
A time and space for yourself
Going to a psychology professional is a way to take care of yourself and pay attention to yourself. It is a time to find oneself, to reflect on what happens to us, our problems, concerns and desires.
You will understand what happens to you
Sometimes a feeling or situation does not allow us to think clearly and we tend to avoid thinking about what scares or worries us, and even deny it. In psychotherapy, you will find tools and help to become aware of what is happening to you and face your fears.
An objective and professional point of view
During the sessions, the psychologist will listen to you without making value judgments. It is a space where you can talk about everything without fear of being judged or criticized. In addition, it will help you find an explanation so that you understand what is happening to you and you can find the best solution for you.
Tools to understand and manage your emotions, thoughts and behaviors
During the treatment, you will find advice that provides you with resources, techniques and strategies so that you can solve your problem yourself.
Going to a psychologist is a good idea because waiting for things to change by themselves, you already know that this attitude, most of the time, does not work.
Myths and stigmas about going to the psychologist
Did you know that, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health problems will be the main cause of disability in the world by 2030? This happens because mental health is not given the necessary importance and its problems are underestimated. Much of the blame for this is due to the myths and stigma surrounding the discipline.
The psychologist is a mental health professional. He acts as an advisor and companion and will try to help us achieve —always by ourselves and from ourselves— what we want.
However, over time, psychology has had to put up with a large number of myths and erroneous beliefs about the discipline and its professionals. These range from skeptical positions such as those who “do not believe in psychology” to those who think that only crazy people deal with psychologists.
In this section, we debunk some of these myths, in order to break these prejudices.
Going to the psychologist is for crazy people
To begin with, the concept of “madness” is not a clinical category with scientific validity. It is a term used to refer to behaviors that are outside of socially accepted behaviors.
In addition, it is not true that psychological therapy is exclusively for people with mental disorders. There are many reasons to do therapy, from going through a difficult situation such as grief to the search to understand a moment in our lives.
Psychologists get paid to chat
This is one of the most widespread myths about psychology. However, it is not true. Psychological therapies allow us to perform mental and behavioral training. Each session is a moment to find oneself, to reflect on what happens to us, our problems, concerns and desires.
In addition, in psychotherapy you will find help to become aware of what is happening to you, to count your fears, to realize the part of responsibility —not guilt— that you have in your problem.
Going to the psychologist does not help
The results obtained thanks to psychological therapy are public knowledge. It’s just a matter of finding the professional and the right type of treatment to experience them firsthand.
It is important to be patient and learn about the various branches and therapies that exist. That way, we can better choose which one we need.
I don’t believe in psychologists
To begin with, this is not a matter of faith: psychologists exist. They are trained professionals, who have degrees endorsed by a university.
On the other hand, psychology is a branch of health recognized worldwide and studied for centuries. It studies human behavior and its relationship with mental, emotional and learning processes.
psychologist or psychiatrist
Psychologists and psychiatrists are the main professionals that those who need help with their mental health turn to. However, thanks to the stigmatization that we talked about in the previous section, many people do not know how to differentiate between these specialists.
For that reason, we tell you what the specificities of each one are and when we should consult them.
Differences between psychologists and psychiatrists
Psychiatrists study medicine and specialize in psychiatry. Instead, psychologists study for bachelor’s degrees and degrees from a specific psychology major. They can then specialize in clinical psychology.
- Skills and knowledge
The psychiatrist specializes in the human body as an organism and in its neurological functioning. The psychologist is more trained in the social sciences and cultural dynamics.
The psychiatrist is the biologist of human behavior and its affective states. He focuses especially on the chemical and physiological aspects of the human body.
The psychologist adopts more heterogeneous approaches and postures: culture, social context, and personal relationships.
- Problems they treat
Psychiatrists deal with the most troublesome mental disorders that can be improved by drug treatments. These treatments are not recommended for people with milder problems due to their multiple side effects.
Psychologists can complement the psychiatric approach and can also offer their personal services, without serious alterations, even if they do not have a specific diagnosis.
The psychiatrist is a doctor trained to prescribe drugs, so his methods are more or less invasive.
The psychological method, on the other hand, provides guidance and proposes techniques based on the patient’s habits and behavior.
Although these two disciplines have their own fields of application, the two are often complementary. Both approaches are useful when intervening in mental health.
Mental health is as important as physical health, despite the prejudices that still persist in popular thought. All the reasons that we name in this article to go to the psychologist can be summed up in just one: improve your quality of life.
It does not matter if we have serious disorders or simply need to understand some aspect of our life, all are valid reasons to request help. That does not make us less brave. So if you are wondering when to go to a psychologist, the answer is that it is always a good time to start.
In therapy, we find a nonjudgmental space where we can explore our deepest thoughts, fears, and desires. This will allow us to develop strategies and acquire tools to deal with those situations that affect us negatively.
A person who knows himself, with his abilities and weaknesses, is someone capable of relating better both with his environment and with others. This allows you to face difficulties with greater integrity and, therefore, come out of them gracefully.