Life Changes can be Stressful. When to see a Therapist

Are you going through a significant transition in your life? Sometimes, unexpected circumstances can shake us to our core. There are certain changes that people commonly struggle with, such as the loss of a loved one, the end of a meaningful relationship, a betrayal that leads to a loss of trust, the arrival of a new baby accompanied by the challenges of parenthood, relocating to a different part of the country or world and starting over, a major illness or injury, job loss, or the empty nest syndrome.

If you find yourself feeling on edge, drinking more than usual, struggling to cope, withdrawing from others, or feeling helpless and lost, it might be a good idea to consider seeking therapy. Therapy can assist you in managing stress, normalizing your reactions, and identifying any potential triggers related to your response to the situation. It can help you navigate through difficult transitions. If you are contemplating therapy, here are some indicators that it could be the right choice for you:

  1. You feel disconnected from your partner.
  2. You feel detached from your loved ones.
  3. You are struggling to adjust to a new job, school, or living situation.
  4. You are experiencing more conflict in your relationships than usual.
  5. You are feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or depressed.
  6. You are using substances like alcohol or tobacco to cope, and this is having a negative impact on your work and relationships.

If you are experiencing feelings like these, therapy could be a valuable resource for you. Major life changes often require an adjustment period. You may need to grieve, process feelings of anger or disappointment, or reevaluate your values. Having a reliable and supportive presence by your side can make all the difference, especially when you feel alone and unsupported. If you are struggling to come to terms with a significant life change, do not hesitate to seek help.

Bruce Hearn is a therapist practicing in San Francisco.