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How to Know When to Get Back to Therapy

How to know when to get back to therapy
Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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The medications listed on this website are provided for informational purposes only. Their inclusion does not guarantee that they will be prescribed to any individual, as treatment decisions are ultimately at the discretion of healthcare providers. This list is not exhaustive, and healthcare providers may prescribe other medications, including non-stimulant options, based on the patient’s unique health circumstances and needs.Read more

Going back to therapy may appear a challenge to most people, but it should not. One may feel they are a failure for needing therapy after they’ve achieved remission once, but that is further from the truth. Going to therapy is not meant to be a one-time thing. Regardless of the period someone has spent in therapy, it does not mean they will never need it again.

When you start facing questions like “should I go to therapy” or “do I need a therapist,” then you probably should, and there is no need to feel guilty about it. There is also no reason for self-reproach since going to counseling is part of self-care, and many things can cause you to do so. If you still hesitate to decide, read on to know the main signs you need therapy.

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Symptoms Are Back

If one went to therapy in the first place to address a particular mental health condition, having similar symptoms is a clear sign of the need to go back to therapy. Usually, part of therapy is preventing and managing triggers for your depression or anxiety disorder. However, prevailing conditions in the environment may make it hard to cope, making you succumb to the symptoms. Thus, should a person show symptoms of their previous mental health condition, it is best to go back to therapy.

Feeling Overwhelmed

Overwhelm is a significant indicator that one should talk to a therapist. Various issues could cause overwhelm, including relationship struggles and external factors around a person. In such a state, one cannot process the various things happening around him, and coping becomes a struggle. A therapist can identify and name internal and external factors that could be contributing to the state. The patient then learns better approaches to regain control of his life, including self-care breaks, managing anxiety, and better communication.

One Is Easily Irritable and Has a Problem Controlling Emotions

Uncontrollable emotions, especially anger and feelings of sadness, are often presentations of depression or anxiety disorders that require therapy. A mental health disorder could be the underlying reason when someone becomes unusually easily irritable and gets annoyed with friends and family over little things. Therapists examine how one responds to everyday stressors and help them address the root cause before the situation spirals out of control.

Going Through a Significant Life Event

Certain life events can be stressful or be sources of considerable anxiety. It could be relationship issues, couple fights or divorce, death of a loved one, losing a job, getting a new one, a new promotion, or changing neighborhoods. It could also be recovering from a traumatic experience. Therapy helps an individual process life changes, uncomfortable emotions, the painful past, and much more, providing a safe outlet for all feelings. It builds self-awareness and better coping mechanisms.

Not Performing Effectively in Your Daily Activities

In other situations, an individual could find themselves operating at levels way beyond their usual ones and not have an explanation as to why. This could be either at home or at the workplace. Tasks that used to be a breeze become unsurmountable, and other daily simple tasks like getting out of bed and home errands also become challenging. Once an individual notices he is operating below his baseline, the best action is to get a therapist. Changes in anxiety and mood can affect memory, decision-making ability, and concentration. A therapist helps figure out why these changes happened and the best way to get back to optimal performance.

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Feeling Stuck

Feeling stuck, unmotivated, stagnant, lost, or unfulfilled can be debilitating. Often the cause is anxiety, fears, and mood changes. Therapists help in uncovering the source of anxieties and what are one’s fears. They help their patients identify their goals and values and find activities to match these goals and values. This and other strategies help the patients identify their obstacles and the best way to overcome them and find new motivation.

The importance of psychotherapy

No Willingness to Do the Things You Liked to Do

People struggling with psychological and emotional issues often lose interest in the things they once enjoyed. If a person no longer enjoys the hobbies they used to enjoy or other activities, it could be they are dealing with mental distress that is preventing them from deriving their usual fun from these activities. Often, such developments are coupled with isolation and an apathetic outlook. Therapy helps patients process any underlying emotions, figure out what is derailing them, move away from negative thoughts and behavior, and rediscover the joy in their favorite activities.

Abusing Alcohol, Sex, Food, and Drugs to Cope

Often, when under mental stress, people seek things that are numbing, distracting, or rewarding as a coping mechanism. Most of the usual behavior is alcohol and substance abuse, sex, pornography, and binge eating. These may help address the unwanted feelings in the short run, but in the long run, they only worsen the issues and lead to dependence. Anyone using alcohol, sex, food, or other things to escape or cope with their challenges should get psychological therapy.

A constant feeling of dissatisfaction and fatigue may be a symptom of a mental health condition.

Experiencing Physical Symptoms

Finally, physical symptoms of depression or anxiety ranging from disruptions in sleep patterns and changes in appetite to constant weariness should alert an individual to seek therapy. When there is no other explanation as to why you are either oversleeping or having constant insomnia, losing your appetite, or always overeating, a trained therapist can help one identify underlying mental health causes.


There are different reasons one may want to return to therapy or attend counseling for the first time. And the answer to the question “should I get therapy” is yes. The reasons may range from having bad relationships with people close to them to experiencing a sense of being stuck and feeling overwhelmed or even having difficulty sleeping or loss of appetite and being worn out all the time.

Patients should understand therapy is part of self-care, and anyone can need it at any time. It is the first step to getting well, and like any treatment, one may need time from time to time and even after ending the first sessions.

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Written by:

Rabia Khaliq

MSc in Applied Psychology


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