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How do I know if I need help?

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. Q. I’m in my second year of university, and I just don’t feel right. I’ve always had a high level of stress in my work and life because I’m a musician but I finding it harder and harder to feel good about life in general. The workload in october was so much I was crying every night, feeling exhausted and found myself not sleeping at night, but falling asleep in class. I talked to my course guidance tutor about it and we discussed getting me some couselling – but by december I was feeling so much better and in january I was very much a chilled out and upbeat person, so I didn’t go for it and assumed it was just a large amount of stress.
Lately however, my moods have come back. I constantly feel tired whether I get 3 hours sleep or 9, some days I feel very creative and inspired and others I just have no drive to do anything except sit in my room and stare blankly.

I try to talk to my friends at home about the things, as I don’t feel I can talk to anyone when I’m at University, but when I talk to them I often feel like they think I’m just having PMT or something, because I’m often the lively and fun-loving part of the group. I’m not in a place where I feel comfortable talking to my family – even my brother, who I’m closest too. I feel like my thoughts and issues aren’t worth the trouble and that I should just “get over it and deal with it.” Talking to my friends and family just makes me feel like I’m being pathetic. When I went to the doctor in october and I tried to explain things he just said it was stress and temporary. But it feels like it’s just going to carry on like this and get worse.

I’ve tried to help myself with these matters, like taking the quizzes to maybe help me figure out my next mood, but I always come up with “possible disorder” and that it’s unclear whether I need help or not.There are so many little issues in my life that are weighing me down; health issues, relationship and sex issues, stress – I just want to sort myself out and get on with my life, but I can’t tell if my problems are big enough that I need professional help or if I’m just being over-dramatic about it all. I really don’t know what I should do.

How do I know if I need help?

Answered by on -


You are not being over-dramatic. You are having legitimate bothersome problems that are causing you severe distress during certain periods of your life. My advice to you is to do what you almost did before; go to a counselor. I would consider going to a therapist instead of a doctor. Usually, the doctor will just prescribe you medications whereas the therapist will help you learn to manage your emotions and stabilize your moods. Your therapist can help you determine if you need to see a doctor sometime in the future. Don’t continue to try and handle this yourself. You’ve tried and it simply has not worked. Take help from individuals who are trained to help. It’s their job. Take care.

How do I know if I need help?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). How do I know if I need help?. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 24, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.