Therapy From Home
As I have mentioned before, I struggle with a pretty serious anxiety disorder and bipolar disorder. Obviously, this does not make managing IBS or any other life challenge any easier. On the contrary, it can make it much harder if I can’t manage my mental health.
Therapy from a distance
I generally see a therapist between once and 4 times per month on average during "normal" times. The pandemic has presented us with an environment that feels anything but "normal." Because of the importance of one-on-one therapy for me, it has become a frustration that most, if not all of the therapists where I live, are not offering in-person therapy sessions. After 15 years of depending on a private, comfortable, intimate environment, sitting directly across from my therapist, this idea of therapy from home, or video therapy (however you want to put it), made me very uncomfortable. To be honest, I resisted it until very recently. My excuse was that I wouldn’t be relaxed enough to benefit from the session. The end result was that I neglected my mental health for many months.
Warming up to telehealth
The problem was that I let fear and assumption take over and affect my choice. My ability to see the importance of therapy (in any form) in my life was hindered due to my preconceived ideas about this new process and my need for the familiar and the comfortable. I have spoken with friends that have IBS and anxiety issues and I have seen that many people felt the same way as I did about this change in the norm. It was actually through these conversations that I began to feel more comfortable about the idea of therapy from home. Knowing I wasn’t the only one who felt apprehensive and scared about the idea, gave me the courage to give it a try.
Unfortunately, when the pandemic began, I was without a regular therapist that I had already developed a relationship. Therefore, I needed to hope that my first choice of the at-home therapist was going to be a good fit. As always, the search for a good therapist, may not work for everyone the first time out. Luckily, I found a wonderful therapist on the second try and we have been having video sessions for the last 4 weeks.
Importance of self-care with IBS
I’ve been very surprised at how effective and ultimately, very comfortable, this different mode of therapy can be. I also feel a little bit silly that I had been so adamant that it wouldn't work for me. So, I guess I’d ask that you remind yourself how important your mental health is in relation to managing other illnesses, like IBS, and all of the other challenges that life will inevitably present. As always, I am here to error for you. :-) If you have any questions or concerns please let me know.
Do you live with any sleep disorders (eg. insomnia, RLS, sleep apnea) in addition to IBS?