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Ask Dr. Lowenstein: When should I consider therapy?

One in 5 U.S. adults experience mental illness each year. It’s good to know that mental health treatment is available, making recovery a reality for most of these individuals. Unfortunately, taking the initial steps to seek treatment can be confusing, difficult and even daunting for some. It’s no wonder the average delay between symptom onset and treatment is 11 years, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

If you’re considering therapy but not sure if you’re ready, start by determining if what you’re dealing with is interfering with some part of your life. If it is, that’s a telltale sign that you should be considering treatment. But let’s take it a step further. If you can answer “yes” to any of the following questions, it’s probably time to reach out to a professional therapist.

  • Does the issue negatively impact any of your relationships?
  • Has the issue gotten in the way of your ability to work, attend school or parent your children?
  • Is it negatively affecting your quality of life or causing you to avoid other people or circumstances?
  • Have you made adjustments in your life in an effort to cope with the issue?
  • Have you ever considered harming yourself or others?

Keep in mind that untreated mental health issues may get worse and could lead to other complications, from physical health issues and hospitalization to difficulty holding a job, caring for children or maintaining relationships. In the worst-case scenario, untreated mental illness could lead to suicide.

According to NAMI, 60% of people with mental health issues don’t seek professional help. Don’t be part of that group. Reach out to a mental health professional today.

Dr. David Lowenstein is a Columbus, Ohio-based psychologist with more than 35 years of experience. He conducts individual, family, and group therapy sessions in his German Village office and also via telehealth. Dr. Lowenstein is also available for expert forensic testimony, and for educational workshops and presentations. He is frequently called upon as an expert source for print, radio, and broadcast media. Contact Dr. Lowenstein at Lowenstein & Associates, 691 South Fifth Street, Columbus, Ohio, 43206, or call 614.443.6155 or 614.444.0432.