You feel extreme sadness or anger
Out-of-control emotions may be a sign of an issue that can improve with a professional therapist’s treatment. “If you’re eating or sleeping more or less than usual, withdrawing from family and friends, or just feeling “off,” talk to someone before serious problems develop that impact your quality of life,” writes psychiatrist, Dr David Sack, for Psychology Today. “If these feelings escalate to the point that you question whether life is worth living or you have thoughts of death or suicide, reach out for help right away.”
You no longer enjoy things you used to love doing
If you don’t feel like participating in your favourite activities, a therapist can help you figure out why, says clinical psychologist Dr Marisa Alter. You could be experiencing re-entry anxiety, a common (but generally temporary) barrier to getting back to hobbies and passions you enjoyed before the pandemic. But something more serious could be at play. “[Losing interest in activities] This may be a sign of someone who is stuck in a rut,” explains says Dr Alter, “or it could be a sign of a deeper depression.” A therapist can help you assess the situation, figure out what is holding you back, and create a plan to move forwards.
You avoid social situations
People often seek out therapy when being around other people makes them nervous. “If you find yourself avoiding parties, work gatherings, or even your own friends and family, there may be a fear of judgment or underlying feelings of inadequacy,” says Dr Alter. When anxiety affects your everyday activities and interactions, therapy is a good first step towards working through it.