Should You See a Therapist to Deal With COVID-19 Stress?
Talking to someone might help you manage your stress.
Posted May 15, 2020
Perhaps you have been feeling more down than usual since being confined to home. You suspect it will pass once things resume to normal. But should you talk to someone now just in case?
Or maybe you’re feeling really anxious about the state of the economy. You aren’t sleeping well and are more irritable than usual. Is this normal given the circumstances? Should you reach out to a professional, or is talk therapy a waste of time? After all, talking to someone won’t improve your finances.
As a psychotherapist, I’ve heard from many people wrestling with questions like these. They often seek reassurance by saying, “I’ll feel better once things get back to normal, right?”
These are all good questions to be asking right now during a time when it feels like the world has been turned upside down.
So while what you’re experiencing might be normal given the current bizarre circumstances (you might find yourself conducting an online business meeting half in your pajamas with your kids’ doing their school work 10 steps away), talking to someone might help you manage your stress.
Signs You Should Talk to Someone Under “Normal Circumstances”
In a pre-coronavirus world, therapy was usually recommended any time someone was struggling with their mood or behavior for more than two weeks. If their symptoms affected their work or their social lives, treatment may be warranted.
So difficulty sleeping, a change in appetite, and an increase in irritability might all be signs someone should see a therapist.
But during the lockdown, symptoms like these have been commonplace. After all, who isn’t staying up later, snacking more, or getting annoyed by their family during quarantine?
Reasons You Might Want to Talk to Someone Right Now
Just because the symptoms or struggles you’re experiencing right now can be explained away by the unusual stress you’re under doesn’t mean you shouldn’t talk to someone. Talking to a therapist now might prevent you from developing a full-blown mental health issue later. It may also help relieve some of the distress you’re experiencing.
Here are some examples of reasons why you might want to talk to someone now:
- Your marriage is feeling the strain from being in lockdown together.
- You are struggling to work remotely with your family at home.
- You are frustrated and irritable with your kids.
- You are having a hard time motivating yourself.
- You feel guilty and don’t even know why.
- You are feeling very anxious about the future.
- You are lonely.
- You are struggling to take care of all the things you need to accomplish in a day.
- You are nervous about your financial situation.
- You are worried about your loved ones.
Of course, this is just a sample list. There are many other reasons why you might decide you want to talk to someone. There’s no wrong reason for reaching out to a therapist.
If you aren’t sure if therapy could be helpful, err on the side of caution. Reach out to a therapist, and ask if your issues are something that can be addressed. Many therapists offer a free phone consultation prior to scheduling an appointment. In addition, many therapists are also offering phone therapy or online therapy while social distancing.
You don’t need to wait until you have a serious problem to get help. Finding someone to talk to now could be a great way to help you feel your best despite whatever circumstances you find yourself in.
Check Psychology Today’s directory of therapists for a professional near you.
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