Originally Published by the American Psychological Association Most of us face struggles at some point in our lives. These struggles may include stress at work, difficulty with a romantic partner, or problems with a family member. Alternatively, struggles may include emotional symptoms such as depression or anxiety, behavioral problems such as having difficulty throwing useless items away or drinking alcohol too often, and cognitive symptoms such as repetitive upsetting thoughts or uncontrolled worry. Sometimes, life's struggles can be eased by taking better care of yourself and perhaps talking about the issues with a supportive friend or family member. But there may be times when these steps don't resolve the issue. When this happens, it makes sense to consider seeking the help of a qualified licensed psychologist. How do you know if therapy is needed? Two general guidelines can be helpful when considering whether you or someone you love could benefit from therapy. First, is the problem distressing? And second, is it interfering with some aspect of life? When thinking about distress, here are some issues to consider:
- Do you or someone close to you spend some amount of time every week thinking about the problem?
- Is the problem embarrassing, to the point that you want to hide from others?
- Over the past few months, has the problem reduced your quality of life?
- Does the problem take up considerable time (e.g., more than an hour per day)?
- Have you curtailed your work or educational ambitions because of the problem?
- Are you re-arranging your lifestyle to accommodate the problem?