Here are some things that have helped me work through each symptom of mental illness. Just so you know, I suffer from anxiety disorder, bouts of depression and grief, as well as periods of agoraphobia.
Telehealth and Online Counseling
This is a great avenue in treating people who suffer from anxiety and depression. For me personally, I started using BetterHelp for counseling. I have a psychiatrist I see face-to-face on a monthly basis, but I need something during the days when my psychiatrist isn't available. Online therapy is pretty simple and very effective. You and your licensed counselor have an open chat session 24/7. Your messages from your therapist will be received via email or text message, and you can be totally anonymous if you want. This type of counseling cuts out most cancellations, waiting all week for the next appointment, as well as awkward face-to-face communication. Having said that, there is an option to video chat or telephone your counselor. You just set up a time and date that's available for the both of you and link up with him or her. It is extremely interactive. I first had my doubts about doing something like this, but once I was invested, I couldn't believe how much I opened up about my feelings when I was comfortable enough. You also have the ability to switch counselors without the awkward discussion of "why." If you're feeling agoraphobic, you can talk to your counselor one on one in the comforts of your own home. I can't think of a better option for those who suffer with agoraphobia. Keep in mind, your counselor will set goals for you, like CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) to conquer your agoraphobia---so they won't let you stay there. As you progress and get better, there is a progress bar on the left of your chat session. It goes from 0%--100%. The best part is, the monthly cost is less than one therapy appointment, but the only difference is, you have access to a counselor 24/7 + video or phone chats. Technology is something!
Taking a Brisk Walk Outside or Taking Vitamin D Supplements
My world came crashing down when I lost my best friend, my mother, my everything just last year. I truly thought that I would go through what's called, "broken heart syndrome." I didn't think I could live without her. A part of me feels like I died when she left this world. This is when I turned to my faith in God. There've been studies that have shown that those who relied on their faith while grieving for a lost loved one, seemed to have recovered faster than those who didn't have faith in a higher power. I took time out every morning to sit and pray---to vent it all out to God, even asking Him, "Why! Why did you take her from me?" Eventually, I started to get answers, whether it was through words from someone's mouth, a text message or something I had found in the Bible. I have a journal that has "prayers" and "answers"---and the answers usually come right away, or within that day. I guess God proved Himself to me, and so I felt less alone. But once I feel distant from God and don't pray as much, those signs and messages seem to disappear. With faith, you will find answers about certain things, as well as finding answers from within yourself. It's like a self-discovery mission--and who knows you best than the one who created you? This is how I find peace throughout my days of anxiety and depression.
My only advice to anyone who suffers with mental illness is to never keep it all inside. Tell someone, reach out, find a counselor and if it costs too much for a counselor, look into Telehealth and online counseling, which is much less than seeing a therapist face to face. BetterHelp has been so incredibly helpful in my time of need. Remember, they're all real certified counselors, and they are all human. If you do not click with one, change your counselor. That's your right.
If you want to find more articles related to mental health, please visit BetterHelp and consider looking into online counseling. It really has helped me tremendously.
For more of Deb's articles, please visit: www.debrapasquella.com or join her on Facebook and Twitter. Check out her cooking blog at Deb's Cucina for some of her famous recipes!