The holidays are here and though it's a happy time of year for most people, it can also be a hard time of year for some people. Seasonal affective disorder is definitely a factor, but also, many people are experiencing grief and loss and the holidays can exacerbate that feeling.
You may wonder, "do I need therapy?" The question isn't easy to answer, but we'll do our best. We spoke with Diana Anzaldua, the founder and Clinical Director of Austin Trauma Therapy Center, and here's what she had to say:
"When it comes to therapy, there isn't really a particular time of year when it's best to seek the help of a therapist. Whether it's the holiday season or just any month, if you find that every day, everything in life just seems to be challenging, it may be a sign. If you're sad or even irritable or upset very often, you may have depression. If you can't stop thinking about your trauma or things that happened to you that still cause you pain and anger, it can also be a sign. Basically, if you cannot function daily at work or school, it's definitely time to seek a therapist."
Depression can look different for different people. Crying and being sad is the most well-known sign, but for others, it can be anger, irritability, or simply just not being your "normal" self. Many people will avoid their feelings and put all of their efforts into what they're doing to stay busy and avoid thinking about what's really bothering them. People can do this for years.
No matter how long you avoid it, the problem is still there, underneath it all. It may come and go, hitting you randomly. You may not know why, but there will be triggers and when you get triggered, it's time to think about what to do to help yourself.
Many people want a quick fix, but unfortunately, with mental health issues, a quick fix isn't always possible. In the West, we're used to going to the doctor and getting a prescription to fix the problem. Medications can certainly be beneficial, but therapy can be just as beneficial, and in many cases, more beneficial.
Talk therapy and EMDR can really help people who just can't seem to figure out what's going on with their mental health. Therapists are trained to help and help you uncover what's really happening. So if you want to start 2023 off right, maybe it's time to really ask yourself, do I need therapy?
If you're in the Austin area, or anywhere in Texas, you can contact Diana's team. Their info is:
Austin Trauma Therapy Center
2111 Dickson Dr #16
Austin, TX 78704
If you're outside of Texas, there are plenty of resources you can find online. A quick search for a therapist in your city will be a great starting point. Thanks for taking the time to read this article!