The Downside of Delaying Counseling

Depressed woman having a counseling session

Many people underestimate the importance of getting their mental health checked out. It’s easy to believe that therapy can be put off, that there’s no reason to check in with yourself, and that the symptoms of depression or anxiety are just a passing phase.’

The bad news is that all of these excuses can actually have a disastrous influence on your physical and mental health. If you ignore the symptoms of a mental health problem and choose to avoid getting therapy or counseling, these issues aren’t just going to go away. You need regular mental health checkups.

Instead, they’re going to snowball and get worse. The symptoms will become more and more aggravating, and these illnesses can manifest as other mental health problems or even physical diseases.

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Even if you’re experiencing just the initial symptoms of a mental health problem, it’s important to seek some form of counseling. This could prevent you from experiencing far more unpleasant problems down the road.

What Happens if I Delay Counseling?

If you choose not to go to counseling or therapy, this means that your symptoms are not likely to get better.

Granted, sometimes you may be sad, or anxious, or angry, for a reason. Maybe your dog died, maybe you have to give a speech, maybe someone treated your family member unfairly. These are all justified emotions. 

However, if you’re experiencing frequent bouts of emotional confusion, depression, anxiety, or other mental health problems that don’t seem to have a genuine catalyst, it’s a good idea to seek out some form of counseling.

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If you don’t, you could be prone to experiencing a number of problems.

  • When mental health problems are unaddressed, they tend to get worse. Mild anxiety, for example, could expand into serious generalized or social anxiety, or even panic disorder. It’s best to treat it when it’s in the early stages.

  • If mental illnesses like stress or anxiety go untreated for a long period of time, they can manifest as physical disease. Chronic stress, for example, can lead to chronic high blood pressure which can cause cardiovascular health problems and even increase the risk of having a heart attack.

  • Unaddressed mental health problems can have a profound influence on your life (particularly in students), making it more difficult for you to succeed in work, school, or at home.

  • Mental health problems can impair your relationships and can make it more difficult to maintain intimate personal relationships. As these mental health problems get worse, they can even disrupt relationships that were previously stable.

  • Avoiding counseling and therapy can lead to cognitive problems and the development of long-term emotional issues.

  • Many people carry trauma from their early lives with you that needs to be worked on. This trauma can make it difficult for people to live their lives - they often become uncomfortable around certain situations, people, or places without even consciously knowing why.

    The sooner that these traumas can be identified and released thanks to the help of therapy or counseling, the sooner these people can fully enjoy their lives.

As you can see, it’s pretty darn important to make sure that you manage your mental health problems as soon as you can. If you don’t, they can easily spiral out of control and make life harder to enjoy.

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If you’re struggling with any sort of mental health problem, then you’re going to want to make sure that you find the help of a counselor or therapist as soon as possible. This will help you learn to manage these issues before they take too much of a toll. There are many therapist directories on the web, where you can find local therapists in your neighborhood. Remember, delaying counseling is never a good idea.