Mental health requires continuous care. It’s easy to take advantage of those times when you feel happy and days are going your way. The thing is, though, that those days aren’t going to go on forever. Life is full of setbacks and letdowns. Mental illness can creep back up at any moment and it’s up to us to prepare ourselves to get through it.
We all have mental health. It is important to prioritize mental health when you’re happy and doing well just as much as when you’re struggling. The crazy thing about mental illness is that it can pop back up at the most inopportune times and catch you off guard.
Of course, it is ideal to find and stick with a therapist you like and trust, even when you think you’ve made it through the tough times. But for many reasons therapy is either discontinued or never even started. The potential barriers to therapy keep so many of us who struggle from pursuing it. The cost, transportation hassles, commitment of time, finding the right therapist who also is accepting new clients, fear of being stigmatized, all get in the way. The list is long. Combined with the common symptoms of a mental health problem, such as isolation and exhaustion, it can feel almost impossible.
About two years ago, I was struggling bigtime. I recognized myself entering into a depressive episode. There were a lot of reasons I wasn’t able to or willing to make an appointment with a therapist. I was either crying or sleeping the majority of the day. I felt like there was no end in sight. I knew I needed to talk about it with a professional or it would just get worse.
So, one day, in my dark bedroom the only light came from my phone as I googled “online therapy.” This new mode of therapy was up and coming, and I saw the advertainments on various social media by that time. I recognized the name Talkspace and without comparing much I went for it.
When I signed up, I immediately spoke with someone who gave me a few therapists to choose from. I made my choice from the list, based on her experience and biography. Soon, I had unlimited access to my therapist via messaging and video conferencing.
I would definitely recommend Talkspace or any online therapy platform. I was able to speak with a professional almost immediately and skipped the waiting time until the appointment (which I probably would have cancelled). I was able to get the therapy I needed from the comfort of my own home.
Along with the ability to do this wherever I wanted, I also liked the ability to send messages when I wanted. My therapist didn’t answer outside of her two-day-per-week availability, but I was able to express myself and get out the thoughts I had at the very moment I was having them. I was able to refer to past messages for the tools and coping skills she taught and recommended.
After countless messages and a few video chats I gained a new perspective and was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. My therapist suggested I make an appointment with a therapist in person and we could speak through Talkspace until that time.
It’s a personal preference, but I could definitely use Talkspace again. I was willing to pay the extra little bit to have the convenience and instant connection of an online therapist instead of the waiting period. I was in such a dark place, and having that support almost immediately helped get me out of the hole I was digging. Social media and technology is often considered bad for our mental health, but I would argue it can do a whole lot of good in this instance.
Author Bio: Kim Charleson is a mental health and lifestyle writer. She has lived experience with mental illness and does her best to raise awareness of the importance of mental health. She has an Instagram account devoted to a transparent look into the topic of mental health. She blogs about mental health and more at homebodybusymind.com and her freelance website can be found at kimcharleson.com.
The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.
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