Virtuous Circle Counselling

Signs to See a Calgary Psychologist

When to See A Psychologist – Virtuous Circle Counselling

How Do I Know If I Need To See A Psychologist?

“How do I know if I need to see a psychologist in Calgary, a psychiatrist, or a therapist?” ” What is the difference and how do I pick the right one for my needs?” It can be tricky. The psychology of the mind is a broad subject. Both a psychologist and a psychiatrist can provide treatment for behavioral and mental health disorders. So what is better for a given person – seeing a psychologist or a psychiatrist?

Psychologists can research topics within the field of psychology and publish their findings. A psychiatrist is a medical professional who has completed specialized training in mental health. In addition, psychiatrists are usually licensed to prescribe medication for people with mental health problems. A therapist is a more general term for professionals who are trained—and often licensed—to provide a variety of treatments and rehabilitation for people.

Psychologists, or therapists, play a very important role in people’s lives. They help people suffering from anxiety, phobias, clinical depression, trauma, stress management, personality disorders and much more. The task of a psychologist, or therapist, is to maximize the potential of their clients – to make them better at facing their problems and making the right decisions for themselves and others. So, how do you know if you need to see a psychologist? Keep reading to find out the 7 signs it’s time to see a psychologist:

1. You have difficulty regulating emotion;

Feelings are an essential aspect of being human and it is important to allow yourself to express your emotions. However, if these emotions become excessive or interfere with daily life, it is crucial to address them. What causes feelings of sadness, anxiety and anger? How often do you feel these emotions? Pay attention to how intense or prolonged your feelings are and in what situations they occur. Are your emotions problematic? If so, how? 

2. Your work or school performance is declining;

Mental health issues can be difficult to manage. They are often emotionally charged and require you to deal with your feelings in an honest and straightforward manner. Mental disturbances, such as anxiety, depression, and substance abuse, may start long before you notice any outward symptoms. This is why some cases can be difficult to identify as they progress. Seemingly invisible at first, these issues wreak havoc on your overall well-being by interfering with your life at home, work or school.

3. You’re experiencing sleep disruptions and changes in appetite;

Mental health issues can create sleep disruptions and changes in appetite. Someone who is depressed might sleep all the time, leaving little time to get through the day without sleep. Anxiety can also lead to sleep problems: anxiety suppresses the neurochemical systems (serotonin and melatonin) necessary for sleep. This can lead to trouble falling asleep or even getting up too early. What’s more, when overwhelmed by stress, some people overeat, while others find they can barely eat anything. 

4. You’re having trouble in your relationships;

The impact mental health can have on relationships is quite varied. For some, it leads to them pulling back from those that are close to them. Others may feel insecure in the relationship and experience a greater sense of emotional dependency. Still others may find someone else excessively responsible for taking care of their emotional needs, leaving the other person with burdens and anxieties. Either way, this could cause strain in your relationships if not dealt with properly.

5. You no longer enjoy the things that used to make you happy;

Many people experiencing mental health issues feel detached from life. As a result, they no longer find enjoyment in activities that they once loved doing. They become less social, have trouble concentrating and feel tired. These symptoms can have a profound effect on someone’s ability to cope with life and their overall happiness.

6. You have experienced some form of trauma;

Whether you have been physically, or emotionally abused, suffered a sexual assault or experienced some other type of trauma, resolving your emotional response becomes challenging. You might feel that you are “frozen” in the feelings you had years ago or even begin to feel that way again when you run into people related to what happened, hear similar stories on the news, or see reminders through a movie or book plotline. Meeting with a psychologist in Calgary allows a person to explore these painful experiences with someone who is experienced in hearing about these issues—in a confidential space that’s free of judgment. 

7. You are grieving a loss or multiple losses;

Moving from one significant loss to another, having no time to mourn and grieve, is bound to leave you feeling emotionally battered and bruised. Losing a loved one, whether it’s an immediate family member, a friend or even a pet, instantly brings pain, sadness and regret to you as the bereaved. The first year after a loss of any kind is said to be the most difficult; but when several losses happen in quick succession or within a short period of time, it becomes infinitely more difficult to cope with.

Your Therapeutic Takeaway

To review, usually seeing a psychologist in Calgary, or psychiatrist (or therapist) is the best way to get treatment for certain forms of mental health problems. Psychologists have more training and education on the mind and how it works, so that they can treat mild to moderate mental health issues. Psychiatrists are medical doctors and are trained in giving medication when needed. Both can provide good treatment, but it ultimately depends on your needs. Read more about Virtuous Circle Counselling here.

Share This Article


We at Virtuous Circle Counselling acknowledge Moh’kinstsis, the lands where the Bow and Elbow rivers meet, in what we currently call Calgary. We acknowledge that we are visitors on Moh’kinsstis and acknowledge the Blackfoot are those who named this area as Moh’kinsstis. In the spirit of Truth and Reconciliation, we recognize the ancestral territories, cultures, and oral practices of the Blackfoot people, the Îyarhe Nakoda Nations, the Dene people of the Tsuut’ina Nation, and the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3.