Self-care is often a solution to struggle. While the term is expansive in versatility, it is uniquely central for all as an essential means for self-preservation and growth. There is no denying that self-care is a positive influence and practice. Though this is true, is it possible that there is an inappropriate time for it? Outside of the obvious way that self-care has a time and place, could there be a time where self-care is not what the doctor ordered?
The diverse impact of self-care varies from person to person can create some blurred boundaries. Where is the line between merely needing more or different self-care, versus when it’s time to employ some more robust and mental health inclined assistance?
Where is the Disconnect?
At what point do we stop trying additional methods and techniques and move to the next solution? Here are some signs that suggest it might be time to enlist the help of a mental healthcare provider.
When You Just Can’t
Have you made an effort to try self-care in multiple forms and found that you don’t feel that you’re getting the benefit? Have you perhaps found that healthy habits or self-soothing actions that worked in the past no longer adequately serve you?
If so, you may have some underlying concern that is going unidentified and, consequently, unaddressed. It’s possible that you cannot alleviate the side effects of this underlying issue unless there is a conscious understanding of its presence in the first place. A mental health provider can aid in the process of doing so.
When the Effects of Self-Care are Short-Lived
Do you experience extreme self-care high and lows? Or do you practice self-care and feel as though your troubles have left the building, only to spot them congregating in the parking lot? This pattern could be an indication that self-care is working somewhat like a band-aid that is temporarily remedying the issue at hand, but not helping to solve it.
When Symptoms of Stress Worsen
Do you practice self-care only to notice that there hasn’t been a positive change, but in fact, a negative one? Things can worsen as we attempt to practice self-care when we’re aware on a subconscious level that it’s not what we need to feel better. Don’t underestimate your subconscious.
If You’ve Been Previously Diagnosed
If you’ve previously been diagnosed with any mental health disorder or tendency, it’s important to understand its context with self-care. Because most mental health complications cloud the mind, it becomes a challenge to identify what needs to be self-care versus medical attention.
If you’ve been diagnosed in the past, it’s critical to keep watch and check in with a mental health care provider to make sure you enable manageability for your mental health. Self-care, in this case, should be viewed separately.
If You’ve Never Checked in with a Mental Health Professional
Alternatively, if you haven’t had the experience of being evaluated, you may not know if there are underlying concerns past what self-care can help with. Life is complicated, and dealing with it is even more complicated. It’s never a bad idea to check in with a professional opinion. At the very least, you may receive some provocative insight.
When to Switch
If any of these signs are present alongside frustration with attempted or inability to experience self-care, there likely is some digging to be done.
While self-care has become a popular trend and has the potential to lift an individual’s’ spirit and reality. We still need to communicate as a society that it should not and cannot take the place of mental health.