To live a happy, well-rounded and fulfilling life, we need to pay attention to our physical and mental health. Unfortunately, the topic of mental health still raises eyebrows in our society, making several people afraid to seek help. According to experts, the COVID-19 pandemic has worsened the mental health crisis in India. So given the current scenario, feeling anxious, stressed or depressed is not unprecedented.
During times like these, it is very important that we reach out to someone we trust and talk about what’s affecting our mental health. If your stress or anxiety is coming in the way of your day-to-day functioning, it’s time to consider talking to a mental health professional. Think of it this way—you would go to a doctor if you were suffering from a physical ailment, right? Treat your mental wellbeing the same way, and if you don’t feel well, don’t be afraid to ask for help!
Since it is not possible to step out for an in-person appointment at the moment, we encourage you to opt for virtual therapy sessions. Still hesitant? We present to you five reasons to try out virtual therapy:
For in-person sessions, you are often limited by the state, city and locality you live in. Even if you manage to find a good therapist in your city, they might live across town—which will lead to a lengthy commute. This means you’ll have to spend extra time as well as money. Virtual therapy gives you access to an excellent therapist without the limitations of physical location.
Not everybody who wants therapy is able to physically travel. This can be because of certain reasons—disability, physical illness or disorientation, which happens when your mental illness becomes too severe. You could also be a COVID-19 patient who is feeling anxious in isolation. In situations like these, virtual therapy acts as a blessing, as you don’t have to move an inch to access mental health support.
If we can work from our couch and hang out with friends from our bed, why should therapy be any different? A big perk of virtual therapy is how convenient it is. Since you don’t need to spend time getting ready and making a long commute, it’s easy to fit in a session anytime, anywhere. In fact, you can even get a session in during your lunch break on a work day!
The cost of one session varies from therapist to therapist. However, when comparing virtual sessions to in-person therapy, the former falls cheaper on average. This is because when you go for an in-person session, you are paying for more than the mental health professional’s time and expertise. In-person therapists also factor in the money it takes to rent their office, maintain the space and furniture. Add to that the cost of commuting to and from their office. But with online therapy, you don’t have to pay for any of that.
This is perhaps one of the biggest reasons why virtual therapy has become so popular. Why do you think most people are hesitant to go to a mental health professional? It’s because it is extremely difficult to talk to a complete stranger about problems you are too afraid to open up about to even your loved ones. The beginning few sessions can be uncomfortable, and this becomes especially hard if you are already anxious. Virtual therapy eliminates some of these uncomfortable factors. It lets YOU pick and choose a time and location most comfortable to you. And you don’t have to be physically present in the same room with them. Once you develop a rapport with your therapist, maybe you can even give in-person therapy a shot!
This is not to say that in-person therapy is no longer required. Both forms have their own pros and cons, and depending on the severity of your situation, your medical expert might recommend either of the two. However, virtual therapy helps you take the first step in the direction of your own healing and recovery. So go ahead and book that online appointment—things only get better from here, we promise!
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This article is part of a social initiative called #KhayalRakhna by Philips. We hope to provide you with some comfort, relief and guidance as we power through these tough times. If you are finding it hard to cope, we encourage you to get in touch with a mental health professional.