When Should You See a Counsellor for Anxiety or Depression?


Everyone gets anxiety at one time or another; a big test or meeting the future in-laws will no doubt make anyone nervous. It's also not unusual to get depressed when someone you know passes away or when you lose a job.

While these feelings are normal for most people, they can also sometimes spiral out of control, even leading to thoughts of self-harm or suicide. How, then, do you know when it's time to see a counsellor for your depression or anxiety, rather than assuming those feelings are normal or that they'll simply pass? Note a few considerations to keep in mind.

How long it lasts

There are no rules about how long you should grieve after someone dies or for when you should start feeling anxious for your school exams. However, if those feelings last for more than a few weeks, with no signs of letting up, then you might consider seeing a counsellor. It may be time to learn how to replace those negative thoughts with something more positive that will help you to feel better.

Why you're depressed or anxious

If you feel depressed and anxious because of overwhelming situations, such as an impending divorce, the death of someone you know, a long-term illness or chronic unemployment, you may want to see a counsellor. Those feelings may continue to be overwhelming and get worse, especially when you try to deal with such situations on your own. You may also need to have counselling for how to face future changes because of such major life events, such as being single after a long marriage or living with a chronic and limiting physical condition.

When you don't have outside support

When someone passes away or when you're anxious over your upcoming exams, you may get a lot of support from friends and family, and this can help you work through those negative emotions. There are, however, situations that you might be facing without the support of friends and family, and which may even make you feel abandoned by them, and a counsellor can help you work through these situations.

For example, someone who has announced their homosexuality or that they're transgender may see their family actually turn their back on them, or you might see friends take the side of your spouse and outright abandon you once you announce an impending divorce. In those cases, a counsellor can provide the support you need through those difficult times.


10 July 2017

Dealing with Difficult Feelings

Hello, my name is Gary and this is my counselling blog. When I was a boy, my dad was very strict with me. Whenever I got upset, he would tell me not to worry and to keep a stiff upper lip. Any expression of emotion was frowned upon within the household. As a result of this, I never really learnt the skills I needed to properly deal with my emotions. As I got older, I started to drink more and more in order to deal with my feelings of sadness and rage. My friend became worried about me and suggested that I visit a counsellor. It was one the best things I ever did. Talking with someone I trust has really helped me to open up and explore my feelings.