The Best Time to Start Online Therapy
When you are stuck alone in the house because of the COVID-19 quarantine, you are also left alone with your mental health. You may have trouble being able to tell if you are experiencing sadness or depression while you are at home. With this ongoing pandemic not going away anytime soon, it is important to turn to online therapy when you notice something is off about your thoughts and your moods.
Examine Your Feelings
Start to pay attention to how you are feeling if your day is starting to feel imbalanced. You should first check in with your body to see its stress response. Ask yourself if your heart is beating really fast, if you are feeling nauseated, or having trouble breathing. Try to tell the difference between a negative thought or concern and your negative thinking.
See if you are having trouble staying positive or pulling yourself out of your depressive mood. Evaluate how your actions are affecting yourself and others, like if you are lashing out at others or harming yourself. If you feel like all of your methods are not helping you and you need more expert help, you need to speak to a mental health professional.
Think About Your Self-Destructive Acts
If you are continuing to hurt yourself, that is a sign to get help. We tend to turn to unhealthy coping habits like excess drinking. If you are living alone, you have no one to tell you to stop. If you feel like your coping mechanisms are making you feel worse and have trouble breaking out of these behaviors, seek help.
You may want to quit these behaviors, but you cannot because you are suffering from addiction. If you have any thoughts of harming yourself, it is more crucial now than ever to speak to someone, as you have no one to monitor you and may not feel comfortable to leave your home to see a therapist.
Many people are using their computer screens as the only method of communication with their loved ones. This can lead to digital exhaustion which can cause negative feelings. It can also be as a result of your compulsion to read or watch the news.
When you go on social media, you may be feeling lousy if people act like they are having a good time during quarantine while you are not. Remember that not everyone posts what they are really feeling. They could be feeling as bad as you and not showing it.
Your friends may also be giving you more to worry about as they express their worries which can lead to irritability and lashing out at them. Being alone can cause you to think of the worst-case scenario, withdrawing from your loved ones, and feeling down.
If you do not know for sure if you are suffering from depression, there are online tests available that can help. Ask yourself how long you have experienced these symptoms — if it has been at least two weeks, you most likely have depression. A professional therapist will be better able to tell you.
How to Begin Online Therapy
Finding an online therapist is no different than finding an in-person therapist. You just have to make sure that you search for a telehealth therapist where they can have sessions with you through video or over the phone. You can start with referrals from your friends and family or speak to your primary care physician.
Many insurance plans will require you to obtain a referral before seeing a therapist, so you may want to take that opportunity to get recommendations from your doctor. See which providers are covered through your insurance so you are not overspending on therapy sessions.
If you are not covered by insurance or want more affordable therapy, reach out to community therapy centers. They are affordable and provide sliding scale options. There are also plenty of teletherapy apps that are affordable.
What to Do When You Find an Online Therapist
Once you find a therapist, talk through your therapy goals and symptoms to start off. This can help you find a counselor that is a good match for you. See what their specialty is, such as addiction, anxiety, depression, etc. You can also see how they plan on helping you, and if those treatment options make you feel comfortable. If you are facing an emergency, a crisis hotline can help you when your symptoms are becoming very overwhelming in the moment.
What to Do If You Are Faced with an Emergency
If you are experiencing thoughts of self-harm, call the National Suicide Prevention hotline. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services also has a national hotline that can point you in the right direction. There is also the Crisis Text Hotline where you can receive text-based support with a counselor and would prefer to seek help through messaging.
We are living in uncertain times right now and we have no idea when anything will go back to normal. Do not wait until that time to seek help, as your symptoms can worsen, the longer you wait. Technology gives us the access to find what we are looking for when we need it.
There is no shame in seeking help, especially since the whole world probably feels the same way you do right now. Reaching out to an online therapist can provide you with mental health help at home and enable you to feel safe again.
Teletherapy is making therapy accessible to everyone, and is especially useful during the pandemic. At Silver Lining Recovery, we believe the most effective way to treat addiction is to find the underlying cause of it and offer professional help. Our highly trained counselors offer various treatment options, including EMDR, CBT, DBT, meditation treatment, faith-based treatment, and more. Call us today at (866) 729-8577 to see how we can help.