Even with the vaccine becoming more available this pandemic has taken a mental toll on many of us. In fact, I think the release of these vaccines might even have made it worse in the short term for some of us.
It seems to me that the “light at the end of the tunnel” effect of knowing there is a vaccine could be adding to our stress levels. After our initial euphoria from the good news of effective vaccinations we encounter the disappointment of learning just how long it may take to get one and that there is still likely quite some time before life will return to something that resembles normal.
In our family, we had one member breakdown quite severely back at the beginning of the pandemic. We all rallied and dealt with it throughout the spring and summer months but now, after weeks of intensive therapy, we are happy to report that things are well under control. Still, it was exceptionally difficult and downright terrifying while it was happening.
To protect privacy I won’t go into too much detail, suffice it to say we were directly involved and had very little experience in how to help in a situation such as this. Luckily we have friends that could help and guide us to the proper treatments and programs.
We now know a whole lot more than we did back then. It was a massive learning experience so we are happy to offer some hopefully helpful guidance from our new found understanding.
First and foremost we learned that you can’t go it alone. Please, please do not be afraid or embarrassed to ask for help if anxiety and stress are getting to be too much to deal with. There are a number of options available, so keep looking for what works for you. With that in mind, right now we would like to discuss one possibility that we feel is perhaps the most accessible, which is online therapy, specifically with BetterHelp.com.
Above and beyond the obvious social distancing value of virtual meeting with a therapist during the ongoing pandemic, there are other advantages. Let’s take a look at a few.
In our mind, the most important benefit is the removal of the stigma that often comes with going to see a therapist. Even though I think we almost all know now days that there is absolutely nothing wrong with seeking mental health help, there is still a level of discomfort or embarrassment that many of us feel when confronted with it.
Understandably, the ability to pursue therapy from the privacy of your own home eliminates most of that uneasiness. Hopefully the familiar and relaxed surroundings serve to increase the comfort level as well, which can only add to the success of the treatment.
It also does away with the time, cost, and stress of having to drive back and forth to and from the appointments. Speaking of appointments, having online access also provides increased communication with the therapist because, in addition to the video chats with the therapist, you can message whenever any issues might arise.
Another good point could be that couples therapy is made more accessible in those instances where both partners can’t be together due to travel, work, or other circumstances. Online counseling can be much more flexible when it comes to meeting these needs.
Still, there are some people who are simply uncomfortable with video therapy. Even though facial expressions, tone of voice, and overall body language are quite apparent with online therapy, it can be that some patients may feel seeing their therapist in person is necessary to make a strong connection. That is certainly understandable.
It can also be challenging for some patients, especially if they are not very tech savvy, to manage video conferencing. In those cases face to face meetings will be more conducive to reaching better outcomes.
But no matter how you seek help when feeling overwhelmed, we cannot reiterate enough the need to find a path that works for you. Help is out there and there truly is a light at the end of the tunnel.
David & Veronica, GypsyNester.com
For more about Betterhelp.com and their programs, please see these previous articles we have shared here on GypsyNester.com: