When it’s time to seek help


Mental illness is one of the most prevalent diagnoses in today’s society. Statistics from the National Alliance on Mental Health show 1 out of every 5 American adults lives with a mental health condition, and that 50% of all lifetime mental illness begins by age 14 and 75% by age 24. 

However, only 40% of people with mental health issues receive treatment. There are various reasons for this, including lack of access to care and lack of awareness, but the most common cause is the shame and stigma surrounding mental illness. 

In today’s article, we’ll discuss why the stigma surrounding mental health needs to go away, how you know when it’s time to seek help, and how therapy can benefit anyone- not just those in crisis mode. 

The stigma surrounding mental health

The stigma around mental health today often comes from fear and a lack of understanding.  There are also often derogatory, misleading, and inaccurate representations of mental illness in the media, pushing people away from seeking treatment when they need it. 

People delay seeking help or avoid it altogether because they’re concerned about being treated differently by family and friends. They may also be afraid of losing their job. 

Needing therapy is often perceived by many as some type of weakness, when in fact, it’s the opposite. Asking for help shows strength. 

Many people have been raised in environments where emotions are swept under the rug or that anyone in therapy must be “crazy.” This type of stigma results in repressed emotions, which will only come back to haunt you later on. 

Signs that you need to seek help

Many people avoid treatment because they aren’t sure if what they’re experiencing is severe enough to warrant treatment, or they assume or hope it will go away on its own. Unfortunately, when the mental illness goes untreated, the symptoms often worsen and may have other harmful long-term effects. 

Some signs that you may need to seek treatment include:

You’re sleeping more than usual or have trouble getting out of bed, or you can barely sleep at all.

You have disproportionate rage, anger, or resentment. 

You have anxiety so severe you can barely leave your home. 

You worry so much that it’s causing physical symptoms

You’ve lost interest in favorite activities

You’re becoming numb to life in general

You feel hopeless most of the time

You’re isolating yourself from family and friends.

The American Psychological Association suggests seeking help if symptoms like these interfere with your ability to function day to day. 

You don’t have to be in crisis mode to benefit from therapy.

Therapy is a valuable tool that helps with many issues and can be worth pursuing even if you don’t have a mental health diagnosis. 

People frequently seek therapists to help cope with significant life transitions, even if the change is not traumatic. 

Therapy has many benefits and can help you improve in all areas of life, including relating to other people. In addition, individual therapy gives people a safe space to explore thoughts, emotions, and concerns.

Many couples seek counseling proactively to head off problems before they start. A therapist can help couples learn new ways of relating to each other and communicate more effectively. 

Many people seek therapy to help them reach goals they are working towards. The therapist will often help them come up with a plan and navigate steps to help them succeed. 

Talking with a therapist can also clarify your thinking if you have a problem that you’re unsure how to deal with. Discussing things with a neutral third party and getting a different perspective can be extremely helpful in finding a solution.

Therapists listen, offer guidance, and teach coping skills that can last long after the therapy sessions are over.  Virtual reality is one tool that is becoming more widely used by therapists to help guide clients through relaxation techniques, deal with phobias and anxiety. 

Along with mindfulness and relaxation environments, Amelia Virtual Care offers VR to help people overcome fears such as public speaking and help them improve their performance in sports. 

If you’re interested in finding out more about VR therapy, you can access our directory of specialists and schedule a session with a VR health professional in your area.