Dear Dr. Darcy:
How do I know if I should see a mental health pro? Are my characteristics normal personality traits or symptoms of a problem?
Everyone has characteristics that when dialed up, could land us with a psychiatric diagnosis. The question is, at what volume are your traits? At a volume of 1-3, I’d say you’re probably normal. 3-5, pleasantly neurotic. 6+, not so much.
The other question is this: Why hesitate to seek out a therapist? Obviously some aspects of your life aren’t operating at their full potential or you wouldn’t even be pondering this. How bad do things have to get before they warrant improvement? Do you walk around limping just because you’re still ambulatory or are your personal standards high enough to warrant an exam to get rid of the limp?
It all boils down to what you expect from your life. If you expect great things, you have to look at yourself critically and assess what needs improvement. Most of us can’t be our own mirrors, and that’s why we see shrinks.
Writer’s stats: Male, Straight.