4 thoughts on “Telemental Health: 5 Reasons Why Online Therapy May Be for You

  • June 12, 2019 at 8:11 am

    Hi Andrea,

    I live in a state (at least my region of the state) that has abysmal mental health services. Like zero. I moved here a year ago. I came from a state that had a pretty amazing mental health care system.

    After a year of jumping through many, many hoops I surrendered to the fact I was not going to see a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner or psychiatrist. I had been on 3-4 psychiatric medications for many years, and had been stable and thriving for several years in my former hometown.

    The PCP here wouldn’t prescribe (I saw several) my medications. They were okay with prescribing my medications for physical issues; metformin, insulin, etc. Gratefully!

    About 6-8 weeks cold turkey off my psychiatric medicines or less I think, I began to spiral downward. I have a passion for creating art and gardening and reading. I love my adult children, family, and dog. I began to dread phone calls from my family and barely was able to answer them. I completely quit reaching out—that seemed like a monumental undertaking. I completely quit art, whereas prior I painted or did drawings like it was a full-time job. I jumped out of bed each morning at 4A and couldn’t wait to get started. I kept my home really organized and clean. All this went by the wayside and I began to sleep all day on the couch. Taking my dog out seemed like the world’s biggest hurdle. My dog was sad too.

    Something made me go to a popular mental health website. I had googled the heck out of “psychiatrist in my area” already with no results. I saw something a search feature that would allow one to search for providers in my area who specialized in the areas I struggle with. I used it.

    Immediately I got a phone call back and was terrified to answer it but forced myself. It was a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner about 200 miles away. I was perfectly willing to drive there if she could even just listen and tell me I wasn’t completely off-base for being so unstable after going off my medications.

    Turns out I take a medication she wasn’t familiar with and because of that, suggested I see someone more qualified in that area. She was so kind and generous that she called me about a week later with two potential provider’s names.

    I called both. One of them was 250 miles away, the other one is on the other side of the country and is licensed to practice in my state. The provider is very aware of the care crisis here and is actively doing things to change this! They practice telemedicine.

    At first I was skeptical. It’s just completely unfamiliar to me and I couldn’t wrap my head around how it would work.

    The appointment time came and they were on the video at exactly the appointed time. Their office was very comforting-looking. The provider was/is amazing. I feel/felt 100% understood and respected. It had been a long time since I felt listened to by a medical professional, and I realized how disheartened I had become and hopeless. This experience was a sea-change.

    Also I want to add that for the first time in my life, during this deep depression, I had become suicidal. This was an extremely unfamiliar feeling for me. I had always been passionate for living, no matter what situation or depression I was going through. I expressed this to my providers in my hometown area because I was genuinely frightened. I was feeling driven to end my life by something that I felt was out of my control.

    Anyway, telemedicine, for me at least, is life-saving. The PNP prescribed new, more modern medicine. They told me the medications I had been on were not bad, but could use improvement/updating.

    Omgoodness it’s now a bit over a week since my appointment. One of my new medications is instant release. The others take a little time. I have begun painting again. Day by day, I’m getting my home organized and clean. I’ve been walking everywhere instead of driving. My dog smiles! I’ve been going to support groups and seeing/visiting friends. I’ll be able to attend school in the fall after a semester of not being remotely capable of going. My family is hugely relieved—they told me they were suffering right along with me and I was so upset by that and felt powerless to change it.

    I will see the provider again in about 3 weeks. No, my insurance did/does not cover my visits. It’s a hardship as my income is $500 a month. I have physical disabilities as well as mental. The other option is to not receive care and very likely end my life.

    I had always taken my mental health issues a bit lightly. I somehow didn’t quite believe they were serious. This process has made me very aware that these are real, chemical illnesses. They have my attention now. Maybe that’s the gift in all this.

    Reply
    • June 12, 2019 at 11:48 am

      Thanks for your response. I am glad you ended up getting connected with a high quality provider. Keep on persevering and advocating for yourself and you will land safely with the best treatment team. Glad telemental health ended up being helpful.

      Reply
  • June 13, 2019 at 10:14 am

    I think for those of us with disabilities this a easier prayer answered.Recently my situation has changed due to numerous factors fewer buses, and new doctor, my husband’s health. Balance issues and mobility with blindness.He needs a podiatrist. which made it harder to see my Psychiatrist.Due to my visual impairment I don’t driver either. I presently have online capabilities with Assistive Technology.Because he works I have technology.I am going to school for this.Psychology mental health. Looking for a tutor.

    Reply
    • June 13, 2019 at 10:22 am

      I am glad this modality is helpful for you. That’s fantastic !

      Reply
 

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