About 3 million Canadians aged 18 years and above (11.6% of the population as of 2013) suffer from mood and anxiety disorders. This was according to a 2014 survey on “Living With Chronic Diseases in Canada,” which also found that 27% of those affected by this condition reported that the disorder affected their lives between “quite a bit” and “extremely.”

Arguably, anxiety and mood disorders are some of the most prevalent types of mental conditions in Canada. While most people go for psychotherapy treatment, according to the above report, 23% of those reported to have had mood and anxiety disorders in 2013 didn’t.

There are a number of tell-tale signs that you are suffering from one type of anxiety or another that should prompt you to seek psychotherapy.

1. You No Longer Enjoy the Things You Used To

If you have recently been avoiding to do the things that you once loved doing because they no longer excite you, you need the help of a therapist to help you figure out why. It could be a sign that you feel stuck in a rut or a pointer to an even bigger problem – depression. With therapy, you will be able to assess your condition and figure out whatever is putting you down. From there you can, together with your therapist, create a plan on how to remedy your situation.

2. Avoiding Social Interactions

If you are anxious, the most common behaviour is to avoid other people. If you have been feeling nervous around people and always use excuses to avoid social situations, you probably have anxiety and should seek the help of a registered psychotherapist. While the occasional desire to be alone to reflect is entirely normal, if anxiety affects your day-to-day interactions and activities, such as going to work, you need therapy.

3. New Unhealthy Behaviours

Although it’s good to be spontaneous occasionally, letting impulse run your life could be dangerous. If you find yourself spending a disproportionate amount of your time using drugs, drinking, making irrational choices, or overreacting when confronted, you definitely need to see a shrink. These extreme behaviours could be your way of avoiding to deal with your emotions or confronting difficult situations. A therapist would help you identify what is triggering these behaviours and unearth underlying issues that you need to deal with.

4. Difficulty Sustaining Relationships

Other symptoms include the inability to keep friendships for sustained periods of time. You may also find romantic relationships too exerting or not worth your time. Again, this would be a good reason to seek help. A therapist can shed light on the real reason you are behaving this way, which could be coming from an experience you had in the past.

5. Traumatic Experience

You should seek help from a shrink if you have undergone a severe traumatic experience. Trauma could be as a result of the death of a loved one, miscarriage, an abusive relationship, or a feeling that you have been unfairly treated or targeted at your place of work. Other traumatic experiences such as a history of sexual abuse as a child should be dealt with immediately. A traumatic experience that affects how you function should be treated immediately.

6. To Gain Insights into Yourself

To get more out of your life, you may need to understand why you function the way you do. This is driven by a desire to maximize your potential to help you live your life to the fullest. For instance, you may want to understand why you make certain choices and not others. Understanding why you think, act and feel the way you do is very empowering.

7. You Just Want Someone to Listen to You

There are times that no one seems to understand you, even when you know there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. This could be because you are going through a difficult patch in your life, such as a divorce or a traumatic court case. You simply want someone who can listen to you without being judgemental.

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