You might be shopping around Bridgeport Village in Tigard, or going on the ArtWalk in Tualatin, or eating a kolache from Happy Sparrow in Lake Oswego, and struggling to make a decision. You’ve been filled with fear lately, not able to make decisions that seem like they should be so simple. What do you do now?
It can be stressful and anxiety-inducing trying to decide if you need to see a counselor. This is especially true if it is your first time. We often go back and forth in our head with the questions, “Is this bad enough?” and think “I can push through this feeling,” or “It will be gone tomorrow.” It can be confusing to know whether the anxiety you are feeling requires the help of a counselor.
So, here are tips to help you decide if it is the right time for you to seek professional counseling.
Tip #1: Anxiety is Consistently Disrupting Your Daily Activities:
Experiences with anxiety can disrupt what used to be regular activities. You may decide to pursue professional counseling if you aren't able to sleep, eat, or take part in your normal social activities due to anxiety. Failing to get enough sleep, make healthy eating choices, or spend time with friends or loved ones can increase experiences of anxiety. Before you know it, you're feeling anxious about the things you aren't able to do like you used to.
Tip #2: You’ve Been Experiencing Anxiety Consistently for a Month:
Another indicator could be if you are experiencing anxiety over several weeks. If you recognize that your anxiety isn't going away and is being prolonged, then you may decide it is time to seek out professional counseling.
Tip #3: Your Experience with Anxiety is Increasing:
You may also choose to go see a professional counselor if you recognize that your experience with anxiety is increasing. As is true with most concerns, it is best to discover tools that will help calm anxiety early. CLICK HERE to discover some helpful tools to ease anxiety shared in a previous blog post. These tools can help ease anxiety, but a counselor may be able to help you get to the messages or emotions that are the source of the anxiety.
Tip #4: Whenever You Feel You Would Benefit from Counseling:
There is a stigma behind seeking help, which can make it even more difficult to decide what to do. The bottom line is that it is okay to get counseling. If you are wondering “Is this is a big enough deal?" or “Is this normal or abnormal to feel this way?” — it is okay for you to decide that you want to talk to somebody about it. Maybe you want to investigate if it is big enough to pursue counseling. Many therapists offer a 15-minute consult to talk you through the options. Take advantage of it! It is okay to make a phone call and is something that you have every right to do.
These are only a few ideas that may be helpful for you in making a decision on whether now is the time to seek counseling for anxiety. Pay attention to your feelings and coping behaviors. A few signs that the time is right for counseling could be consistent disruption in your daily activities, that the anxiety has lasted several weeks or months, or that there has been an increase in anxiety. And always remember that you have the control and power to seek counseling when you choose to.