It’s probably best to start by addressing the false notion that visiting a psychologist should be limited to only critical points of your life, some sort of personal crisis or when there is a buildup of emotion that is nearing a dysfunctional level. This is not true. When you don’t go to see your family doctor or your dentist for regular checkups, you run the risk of small issues becoming larger ones seemingly ‘out of the blue’. Similarly, when thinking of visiting a therapist, not only can you think of this as a great way to make sense of some of the burdens of day to day life, but it can also help to identify those seemingly small issues that have the potential to quietly grow into bigger and more problematic emotional stressors. Here are some of the more obvious signs that it may be time to see a psychologist:

  • Your sleeping and/or eating patterns have changed significantly (too much or too little)
  • You have frequent tension headaches and other physical pains not linked to a physical health condition
  • You have trouble concentrating on your everyday school or work tasks and are having several accidents at work, school or around the house.
  • You are having frequent fall outs with friends, colleagues and/or family members
  • You feel a sense of hopeless
  • You feel particularly irritable
  • You started leaning on an unhealthy coping mechanism (like drugs, alcohol etc.)
  • Your performance at work or school has declined noticably
  • Your thinking is negative/pessimistic regarding your future, relationships or everyday situations
  • You keep reliving a traumatic event (death, robbery, rape etc)
  • You worry a lot
  • You hear or see things that others are unable to
  • People have expressed concern over your recent actions
  • You self-harm or are considering suicide
  • You are thinking about physically hurting someone else
  • You have a high stress job that is affecting your behavior and/or sleep
  • You feel sad for an extended/abnormally long period of time
  • You feel anxious or nervous for an extended/abnormally long period of time

The above is just a few of the signs that should prompt you to seek out a therapist, but there are many more. At the end of the day, most times we as individuals know when we are not in a good place mentally and while sometimes a little time is all we need, other times we just need a little push to get back on the right track. Seeing your therapist could be that greatly needed push.

Kelly Mc Farlane
Clinical Psychologist, Organisational Psychologist
Public Relations Officer, TTAP October, 2019

News Reporter
The Trinidad and Tobago Association of Psychologists is the Association representing Psychology and its practitioners in Trinidad and Tobago.

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