Bearkat Advice: When is the time to seek counseling?

The idea of seeking psychological help may come across as a turn-off to some people. Many think it is parallel to being crazy or assume it means you’re weak or incompetent.

In all reality, it’s a scheduled opportunity to receive guidance and insight of your heart and mind. It’s a chance to understand the real you and explore your inner peace of mind. Although some may need more help than others, it’s never easy for any of us to recognize that we need help. Especially this day and age, with the sad pace of our society not lending itself to introspection.

Self-awareness needs to be intentional. I can tell you firsthand that my fear of needing help slowly faded into excitement, which led to an overwhelming sense of freedom and strength. In majority of cases, results end in clarity of vision, questions answered, peace and contentment.


Addiction – obsessions consume all of our attention and energy. Even if we don’t realize, addictions come in all sorts. From substances, habits and behaviors, they are ways of coping with our anxiety, loneliness, pain and stress.

Many young men and women our age tend to deal with their pressures by drowning them out. Huge mistake. If you go far enough, your addiction becomes a form of slavery terribly difficult to emerge from. You then come to realize you hit a bottomless pit and there is no way out.

Counselling doesn’t work the same way drugs do. Rather, it entails being honest and brave enough to admit your problems and face your truth. Just like Hebrews 12:11 talks about, “For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have trained by it.”

Mood Swings – extreme shift in your overall mood and perspectives. If you feel yourself getting angry, sad or irritable at times where it isn’t your usual temperament, it’s time to ask yourself what is causing the problem. These may be signs of overwhelming anxiety or stress.

Seeking counseling at times like this will help change your attitude, become stronger and more stable. You may also find yourself becoming capable of monitoring your own feelings and applying effective self-counseling.

Loss of Enjoyment and/or Competence – take a step back and evaluate your actions and your feelings. Are you enjoying the same activities or interests you once were? Has everything just seemed to fade into being bland and gray? What about your work or your job? Has your performance slipped? Have your personal expectations dropped?

If it impossible to get yourself up and find the enthusiasm to do things you once did, don’t take light of the situation. RED FLAG! Fatigue and loss of interest are major signs that something is seriously wrong. If you suspect anything out of the ordinary, act on it.

Moving Forward

When life kicks you in the butt, it’s easy to lose track. Counseling is a chance to invite guidance into your darkness to help you find the light. Not only is counseling good for the soul, it is an especially helpful process for anyone wanting to better themselves and build relationships.

Take an honest look at your life and think about what you need to keep yourself healthy, sane and whole. You’re important, and it’s OK to admit you need help sometimes. Loving someone begins with loving yourself.

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