Content Warning: Discussing Mental Illness and Eating Disorder
Overcoming my fear of treatment before I hit a mental health crisis was the best thing I ever did for our mental health.
Treatment is expensive, time-consuming and difficult to find, but it is also life-changing and sometimes life-saving.
Starting treatment before you feel the need for it most can give you a strong support system and a basis for getting help when your mental health really falters.
I’ve been thinking about going to therapy for years.
I knew I needed it – I was diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder in middle school and had been depressed all through high school. However, when I was in the middle of a mental health crisis, I could never force myself to seek help.
I always talked about myself for getting help when I needed it most. If I went to therapy, I would have to admit to others that I was suffering, so I avoided going even though I knew I needed it.
I was not alone. In 2020, only 46.2% of people with mental illness received mental health services, according to National Institute of Mental Health.
The stigmatization of mental health issues reached me. I didn’t want to admit that things were as bad as they were, and I wanted to be able to handle it on my own.
Nor did I want to put this financial burden on my family.
On average, treatment costs anywhere from $100 to $200 per session, according to Psychology Todayalthough pricing can also depend on the use of health insurance, which can drive costs down.
I figured the price was more than my family could afford, and in my opinion, solving my mental health issues wasn’t worth the cost.
Despite this, I got over my fears and started going to therapy a few months ago.
My mental health was in better shape than it was before, so I didn’t talk about myself this time.
Before I went, I had initially wondered if the treatment was really worth it. If my mental health is in good shape, I don’t want to waste money or time on something that I didn’t really need. In the end, I decided to give it a try.
However, after only a few weeks of treatment, my mental health took a turn for the worse.
My anxiety became more severe and started limiting my ability to eat. I would have panic attacks any time I tried to eat and started having physical symptoms, such as constantly feeling faint from not eating and feeling like I couldn’t breathe out of nowhere.
Fortunately, I already had the beginnings of a support system built into therapy.
I think if I hadn’t started treatment before this happened, my mental health would be significantly worse now, and I might have given up getting help again.
Therapy helped me work on coping strategies and coping exercises and gave me an outlet to talk about what I was experiencing without judgment.
I had a support system. I don’t have to deal with things on my own anymore.
Unfortunately, this is not a privilege that everyone enjoys due to the difficulties in finding a treatment that is available, accessible, and inexpensive.
The availability factor has only been inflated by COVID-19. The American Psychological Association found that 70% of psychologists said their waiting lists grew longer after the pandemic, according to October 29 Washington Post article.
However, if you have privileged access to the treatment, I highly recommend making use of it.
It may be helpful for people to seek treatment before they experience a mental health crisis so that they are better prepared to deal with the crisis when it occurs, according to May 18, 2021 Healthline article.
Getting treatment before you need it is all about prevention.
The skills you learn in therapy can help prevent a crisis as you actively develop the skills needed to keep your mental health in good stead.
If you are experiencing a mental health crisis, you will have a way to learn and improve the skills you need to deal with it. No more Google rabbit holes trying to figure out how to handle on my own.
For those who do not enjoy the privilege of consistent treatment in a private clinic, UVM counseling and psychiatry services can be a good start to finding alternatives.
caps Free, one-to-one, short-term therapy sessions either in person or through telehealth are offered to all full-time students.
Although CAPS may be short-lived, it can be a great way to start prioritizing your search for a therapist and begin building coping skills that can be useful in the future.
Even though I’m still in the midst of a mental health crisis, therapy has become a wonderful resource for me in my work toward improvement, and I can’t imagine going through this without it. My only regret is it didn’t start sooner.
#Fairmont #Scenic #Start #treatment #feel