Life can be hard, even if we think things are “OK.” Higher prices, hectic schedules, and growing responsibilities can all add to our stress. And stress buildup can lead to feeling overwhelmed, hopeless, or sad.
How do we know if sleepless nights, feelings of unease, or racing thoughts are a sign that talking with someone through therapy could help? Read on to learn if therapy could help you live a happier, calmer life.
Should I Go to Therapy?
Mental health concerns can start small and grow over time. It’s when they affect your daily life that it may be time to talk to someone with training who can help. It can be hard to know when to take the next step.
So how can you tell if what you’re feeling is cause for concern? There are many resources you can use to check your symptoms.
Get a Mental Health Checkup
One way to test your mental health is taking an online mental health screening. Most of these tests are anonymous, meaning nobody can see your results (except you).
Screenings will ask you a variety of questions about symptoms you may have, including:
- Having a hard time sleeping
- Increased or hard-to-control worry
- Loss of appetite
- Loss of enjoyment in hobbies or events
- Having a short temper or increased feelings of annoyance
Any of these things can happen on a typical day, but what matters is how often they happen. A screening can help give you a way to determine if your symptoms could be treatable.
With this information, you can either find a therapist on your own or talk to your doctor about options.
Talk to Your Doctor
Once a screening has helped you make a list of concerns, the next step is to talk to your doctor or primary care provider (PCP). Just like a broken bone or nasty cough, your mental health concerns can be treated.
Your doctor should have suggestions for you based on your personal beliefs and lifestyle. This can include:
- Seeing a therapist or other health provider
- Taking medication
- Helping you resolve what’s causing stress in your life
Find a Therapist
If talking to someone to help you sort out your feelings sounds helpful, you should consider seeing a therapist. Your health care plan should cover mental health services. Check with your health plan for in-network providers and what is covered.
Did you know?
CHPW members have access to mental health resources, including therapy. To learn more about our behavioral health coverage, visit our Behavioral Health Resource Center.
Many therapists provide visit options including online, via text, or in person. You can ask them about scheduling appointments that work for both of you. To find a therapist, Psychology Today has a great directory of therapists. You can search for one near you and also filter by categories like gender and type of insurance accepted. Your health insurance plan should also have a directory of in-network providers.
It’s always a good idea to contact the therapist before scheduling to make sure they still take your insurance. Finding the right therapist can be a process. You can keep looking until you find the right therapist for you.
“Sometimes discomfort in therapy means that positive change is happening. Ask yourself “why” you are uncomfortable or you don’t feel treatment is helping. Then, discuss it with your therapist. Together you can decide whether to continue as-is, change something about your treatment with them, or move on to a new provider”
– Dr. Tawnya Christiansen, CHPW Behavioral Health Medical Director
When Mental Health is an Emergency
If you are thinking about harming yourself or others, it is a health emergency. You can call a local crisis hotline, the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255opens phone dialer, or dial or text 988 to seek immediate help.
Your problem is valid, and there is help for you. You are not alone. According to the National Alliance on Mental Health (NAMI), 1 in 5 American adults experience mental illness each year.
Don’t Let Stigma Hold You Back
Going to therapy shouldn’t feel like “weakness”; it is the same as treating any other illness. Mental wellbeing is important for living a happy life. Just like you wouldn’t ignore a bad cut, you shouldn’t ignore your mental health.
Don’t let fear stop you from addressing your mental health needs. Whether you ask your doctor for help or find a therapist on your own, help is available.
Are you a CHPW member and need help with renewing your Apple Health coverage? Call CHPW’s Renewal Team at 1-866-907-1904opens phone dialer (TTY: 711), 8 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday.