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15 Signs You May Need Counseling

Almost everyone experiences periods of sadness, extreme stress, conflicts, and unbearable grief at some point in their lives. So, if you’re going through such a period in life, you usually isolate or detach yourself from others, keep quiet, suppress things to yourself, and even stay away from people and the activities you used to do. These may be some reasons why most people find it difficult to seek counseling and treatment, and as such, it’s never the first option for intervention. Most of the time, you don’t think you need it unless you’re certain that your physical well-being becomes exacerbated.

So, if you know you’re in an utterly dark place in your life right now, but don’t know what good counseling can give you, consider the following signs to help you determine if you need counseling:

woman who realized she had one of these 15 signs need counseling

1. Changes In Your Physical Health, Appetite, And Sleeping Patterns

Changes to your eating and sleeping habits—either feeling hungry all the time, not eating much, or not being able to sleep properly—often indicate underlying issues like stress and anxiety.

Research in Journals suggests that stress could manifest on you as a physical illness. If you’ve experienced skin irritation, unexplained headaches, or digestive issues, that’s probably because stress has started to affect your well-being. If these signs or changes have been so consistent and aggravating to the point that they interfere with your daily and personal tasks, then maybe you need to see a psychiatrist or a counselor for appropriate counseling sessions.     

Counseling also helps you deviate from the causes of your stress through relaxation exercises, which induce a sense of calm and help keep you grounded. Practicing mindfulness exercises daily can also improve your ability to focus and cope with various potential stressors.

2. You Often Catastrophize

If you’re somebody who often sees the bad in everything, it’s a sign that you could benefit from online counseling. This situation is commonly called catastrophizing. It occurs when a person always assumes that the worst thing will happen. More often, it involves a situation wherein you anticipate the problems that you might possibly face.

You might end up wrestling with anxiety or depression issues when this happens. Also, when you’re catastrophizing too much, you might also experience chronic physical pain. This symptom might bring you an intense feeling of discomfort that will prompt you to avoid physical activity.

Therefore, if you cannot escape or get away from the habit of catastrophizing, maybe it’s time for you to seek professional help from an experienced counselor. In many cases, counselors use cognitive behavioral therapy, which eliminates the irrational thoughts you’re experiencing and turns such thoughts to sound meditations.

3. You Lack Satisfaction In Your Life

Do you feel lethargic and unenthusiastic lately? Not getting enjoyment from your daily activities may be a sign that you’re not satisfied with what you do or how you’re currently living your life. Perhaps you also feel like your career is in limbo, or you’re leading to a separate path away from your partner. These can be signs of intense negativity, which might tell you that it’s time to shift your focus, take stock, and recognize the things that matter to you—things that you’re grateful for.

Counseling isn’t just for those experiencing major mood upheavals or big struggles in life. Sometimes, everything seems good, but you still can’t shake your dissatisfaction about yourself or personal circumstances away. Talking to a counselor can help you gain stability and increase your satisfaction with each aspect of your life.

4. Something Traumatic Happened

Some painful events like a breakup, job loss, accident, or death of a family member can be too traumatizing to handle. While some people tend to believe that such feelings will go away or disappear on their own, this isn’t always the case.

For example, grief so deep from an unexpected loss may affect your daily activities and may lead to isolation or withdrawal from your loved ones. In the worst-case scenario, a grieving or depressed person might entertain thoughts of suicide. Hence, if you can’t take the heaviness, darkness, and other unpleasant feelings anymore, you can always talk to a counselor or psychiatrist for counseling and get the help you don’t know you need.

5. Feeling Apathetic Towards Activities You Used To Love

If you no longer find joy in your friendly hangouts and family gatherings, it might be a sign that something is amiss. This feeling is commonly known as apathy. It occurs when you start feeling indifferent about anything you used to love or enjoy or simply don’t care about what’s happening around you anymore.

Unfortunately, feeling apathetic may affect your job, relationships, and your ability to enjoy life. So, if you feel that you have no purpose in life or you’re constantly unhappy, then seeking counseling from a professional counselor can help you start in a new direction and regain your motivation and will to live life with grit, joy, and enthusiasm.

6. Uncontrollable Feeling Of Hopelessness, Anger, Or Sadness

Being out of control often makes something bad much worse. Suppose you’re uncomfortable feeling hopelessness, anger, or sadness. In that case, you may discuss it with your family, trusted friend, or any support system before they take a toll on you and severely impact your quality of life. If such feelings rise to the point that you have anxiety attacks and, in extreme cases, suicidal thoughts, seek counseling from a counselor who can help you manage those strong emotions immediately.

7. Problems With Alcohol And Drugs

If you’re using alcohol or drugs to drown your sorrows or to cope with the bad things that are happening in your life, there’s something that you should know. An addiction would only make things worse. It would create more problems, and you don’t want to hit rock bottom because of it.

The best thing that you should do for yourself is to get counseling as soon as possible. If you refuse to go to a rehab center for your addiction, seeing a counselor would be a great alternative. A counselor can help you understand your behaviors and recommend coping ways to help you overcome addiction.

But more than that, below are some ways a counselor can help you with your addiction problems:

Encourages recovery

During a counseling session, a counselor can help you acknowledge your problematic behaviors and guide you toward recovery by empowering you to take action and change these behaviors.

Comes up with a therapeutic bond with you

A counselor can help create a therapeutic alliance with patients like you. If you want to recover faster, working with a counselor allows you to have an environment where you feel comfortable discussing your hardships. Remember, a counselor’s empathizing with your problems can help you in your recovery journey.

8. You Avoid Socializing

Another sign that you may need counseling is when you avoid socializing and start isolating yourself consistently and alarmingly. Primarily, isolation is defined as the lack of emotional and social connection. When people avoid socializing and begin to isolate themselves, they often experience feelings of loneliness and shame. Also, extreme isolation causes some mental and physical health issues; it warps the mind.

Thus, when this happens consistently, it’s best to seek help from a trustworthy counselor. They can help you address the emotional and psychological issues you have that lead to avoidance and isolation. Moreover, they can teach you once again to connect emotionally with others. Lastly, the therapeutic process between you and the counselor allows you to build trust and experience the support of another person.

9. You’re Looking For New Support

You might have a lot of people to discuss your life’s challenges with. Talking to a counselor may provide you with new perspectives; he/she would listen to you without any judgment and help you focus on thriving as an individual.

For instance, saying your thoughts and emotions to another person may allow you to gain new ways of dealing with your problems by simply venting out. Similarly, when you let things out to a counselor—things you’ve been repressing inside—it will be not only a cathartic experience for you but also a way of seeking new insights and support when dealing with life’s challenges.

10. You Beat Yourself Up

Are you compassionate towards your family and friends but don’t give yourself the same kind of treatment? Do you often put yourself down and criticize yourself, regardless of how good you did? You might also think that you’re never enough—not smart enough, successful enough, or maybe athletic enough. If you can no longer pick up and encourage yourself, look for a counselor who can help you manage your situation.

11. Your Loved Ones Have Suggested Counseling To You

When friends or a family member say they’re worried about your mental well-being and think that you might need some help, it’s okay to feel upset, offended, or defensive. However, it’s more important to hear them out and consider why they suggest you seek counsel.

The main reason somebody is likely to suggest counseling isn’t that he thinks there’s a problem with you. It’s because they want the best possible life for you and loves you unconditionally.

12. You Lack Focus

Lack of focus may affect one’s daily life and productivity level drastically. While this is not a rare occurrence, consistently losing your focus might have an underlying reason that can be resolved through counseling. For instance, when you lack focus, you may not be able to move forward in your career or seek growth in your marriage. This can lead to more unlikely circumstances in the important areas of your life.

Therefore, if you feel your lack of focus has affected the way you make life decisions or you feel you need help making better lifestyle choices, it’s a great idea to go for a counseling session. Having a counselor by your side can be beneficial because you can have someone who would remind you to focus on your priorities and help ensure you achieve your life goals in no time.

13. You’ve Lost Someone Or Something

Not all people experiencing grief necessarily need counseling. Still, it’s alright to seek help to eliminate the sadness and bitterness caused by losing someone you love, getting denied to your dream job, and other painful circumstances.

More often than not, grief can be challenging and might take time to conquer without any professional help. Counseling could be helpful, especially to those who have experienced multiple losses in a short time.

14. Old Coping Strategies Aren’t Effective Anymore

Hiding from your problems won’t give you any relief at all. Rather, it causes your pain, problems, and traumas to pile up into a mountain of an unbearable load. It would be too heavy to carry all by yourself.

If your anxiety coping mechanisms or anti-stress strategies aren’t effective anymore, it’s a sign that you should seek external support from the best counselor in your area.

15. You Can’t Stop Your Brain From Thinking About Several Things

Overstimulation is defined as the act of being stimulated physiologically or mentally to an excessive or abnormal degree. The state of overstimulation may manifest in inner restlessness, strong feelings, emotional tension, and even disparate thoughts. Once you add in the anxiety that may be due to problematic relationships or heavy work deadlines, it’s not surprising why some people sleep fewer hours than normal.

To help you with overstimulation and overthinking, talking to a counselor to unload bulks of thoughts can definitely help. According to Forbes, By engaging in talk therapy with your counselor or psychiatrist, you’ll find assistance in preventing your brain from thinking too much, eventually allowing you to experience peace of mind.

woman in counseling

How To Find The Best Counseling Service For Your Needs

Now that you know some signs that you may need counseling, it’s time to find the best counseling service suited for you and your particular needs. At present, there are many professionals offering counseling services. However, you must note that not all of them are helpful and can specifically cater to your concerns.

Before you begin with the search, identify your preferred counselor and his/her character. Do you prefer tough love from somebody who is honest and straightforward? Or are you searching for a compassionate professional who can give you a listening ear with a gentle approach? You should also decide whether you want to work with a man or a woman.

In addition, it’s beneficial to understand your options regarding various counseling specialties and which could be perfect for your unique needs. With individual therapy, the therapist focuses on individual psychology, including family systems, experiences, situations, and interpersonal relationships.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with the options available to you, there’s nothing wrong with asking for assistance or getting referrals from other people you know. Checking online reviews may also help you know how credible or reliable a counselor is. Just don’t forget to check the license or certifications of counselors too.


Counseling is a chance to assess where your career, relationships, and life evolve and determine where you want to be. This approach is highly collaborative. You would work with your counselor during therapy sessions to help you overcome your daily challenges, define your relationships, life, and career needs, and address your personal concerns.

Talking to a counselor can help you evaluate yourself and your current predicaments, identify your purpose in life, set goals that aim at improving yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, and work on a plan that will gradually lead you to the best version of yourself.

Hold on to hope—don’t give up on yourself. Instead, take action by reaching out to the best counselor around your area and being willing to get help.

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