An Online Psychiatrist Can Help Your Partner Manage Their Mental Illness
By: Joy Youell
Updated June 25, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Dawn Brown
It can be heartbreaking to watch your partner struggle with a mental illness. Maybe you don't have any experience with it because you've never suffered from anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or any other mental illness yourself. Mental illness is a real condition that is treatable. This does mean that is often requires treatment.
It can be challenging to understand a condition that you haven't experienced yourself and you may feel helpless watching your partner struggle. When you notice that your partner is struggling with their mental illness despite seeing a therapist regularly, they might benefit from working with an online psychiatrist. You and your partner may decide to see a psychiatrist online in order to discuss psychiatric medications in a more efficient manner, or you may prefer the convenience and ease of an online platform. Read on to understand how to incorporate online psychiatry into your partner’s treatment plan.
Why Psychiatry Helps Mental Illnesses
Some mental illnesses can be managed with therapy alone, whereas others require medication in conjunction with treatment. One of the best ways to treat cases with psychotic features such as Schizophrenia or severe Bipolar Disorder is medication. It's important to note that medication is a short-term solution that alleviates symptoms. If clients want to work toward long-term solutions and recovery, a combination of psychotherapy and medication is recommended.
Bipolar Disorder (with or without symptoms of psychosis) for example, responds well to psychiatric medication. It can improve the quality of a person's life significantly by allowing the highs and the lows that come with the condition to become less pronounced. It's essential for you, as the partner of a person with mental illness, to support your significant other in getting well no matter what their treatment plan is.
When Your Partner is Self-Destructive
Nobody wants to see their partner in pain or using self-destructive behaviors. When a person is experiencing pain, they may act in negative ways. For some people, this brings a temporary sense of relief. Others might engage in substance abuse or eating disorder behaviors that harm them. You can provide support, but not endorsement, of your partner.
Remember that self-destructive behavior of any kind represents a significant problem and potential for lasting damage. For immediate help call 1-800-273-8255, which is the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. You may also want to ask for access to your partner's therapist. In the event that you observe escalating, self-destructive behavior, you may feel the freedom to alert this professional to that.
Encourage Your Partner to Get Help
Seeing a psychiatrist is not easy for some people. The unknown territory of talk therapy and mental health treatment can be a barrier to success. You have the opportunity to provide an encouraging and supportive voice for their mental wellness by encouraging treatment.
Some people have tried taking medication for mental health issues already. If your partner is new to taking medication, they might be afraid. It could be hard for them to get used to. Not knowing what to expect can deter people from getting the right help.
As their partner, you can assure them that they're doing the right thing by helping themselves get well. Psychiatric medication can be a significant help in the uphill battle that treating mental illness often is. Working with both a therapist and psychiatrist creates a very thorough and effective treatment strategy.
When thinking about treatment, don’t forget to consider care available to your partner online. An online psychiatrist is an excellent provider who can prescribe the appropriate kind and amount of medication that will help them. Working with a psychiatrist online is an approachable, widely accessible, and great option to consider.
The opportunity to have an appointment online may also be an attractive option for people living in with less access to in-person care, like rural or remote areas. Depending on the symptoms and condition(s) your partner is experiencing, it may be possible to receive a prescription online.
Meeting with a psychiatrist online or having an appointment online may make your partner feel more comfortable. New surroundings and people can be stressful and anxiety-inducing, especially for individuals who already suffer from these sorts of symptoms related to their mental illness(es).
Psychiatry visits usually involve lots of discussion about your partner’s mental health as well as monitoring of their physical health. Online psychiatrists are still able to provide these services even without a face-to-face psychiatry session. Seeing a psychiatrist online or having visits online may be a very advantageous and preferable option for many.
Encourage your partner to be flexible and open-minded when it comes to psychiatry services and psychiatric medication. Mental illness is complicated. It'll take trial and error to find the right treatment plan, but they will get there.
You Can't Be a Substitute for Your Partner's Medication
When you're dating a person with a mental illness, you may have difficulty seeing them in pain. It's hard to watch someone you love suffer. You can't wave a magic wand to stop them from hurting. You can't fix their problems. You can support them when they have tough times, but you cannot take their pain away.
It can be heartbreaking to watch your partner suffer through mania, depression, panic attacks or hallucinations. Medications specifically psychiatric medication can help with these issues. You alone will not be able to alleviate their symptoms. But you can provide a great sense of support to your partner while they find the right medication that works for them. You can be supportive in other ways; for example, you may sit in on an online psychiatry session to better understand what your partner is going through and how you can best assist
Finding the right medication that works for your partner will be trial and error. Psychiatric care can be tricky; Sometimes you get lucky and find a drug that works well on the first shot. Other times, it can take a couple of times to find the psychiatric medicine that will work for your partner. You and your provider of psychiatric care will help your partner understand that getting on the right medication is a process. Individuals with the same mental illness can respond completely differently to the same medication or substance.
This is an example of how telepsychiatry services may come in handy. You and your partner may find it more convenient to have online means to contact and meet with your provider throughout this process.
Medication Changes Can be Tough
Mental illness is brutal to live with at times. It's particularly hard when you are transitioning from one medication to another. The beginning of psychiatric care may be full of ups and downs, especially if your partner has been struggling with mental illness for a long time. Try to understand that when you're supporting your partner through a medication change, there is a real major struggle.
When your partner is working with an online psychiatrist, just like any other psychiatric professional, they will be trying different drugs. Changing medicines is exceptionally challenging for the majority of people who take the psych meds. Your brain is so used to how it feels on a specific dose, and now you're removing medication and introducing a new one. For instance, there may be mood swings.
Try not to take mood swings personally. That being said, it is okay to let your partner know if their behavior hurts you. Having a mental illness doesn't give someone a free pass to disrespect those around them. People struggling with mental health conditions are still capable of taking responsibility for their actions.
As a partner, you might say something along the lines of "I understand that this is a challenging time for you while you're changing medication, but what you said hurt my feelings. " While your partner is changing medicines they might not seem like "themselves." Once they get adjusted to their new medication, they will begin to act more stable. But that does take time. You need to be patient just as much as they do. It can be exhausting to live alongside someone as they go through a med change. Medication changes do subside and the person will get back to a place of stability. If your partner is experiencing difficult side effects and emotional turmoil, you may want to encourage them to share these struggles with their therapist or psychologist. If your partner is working with a psychiatrist online, it is likely they will have the means to communicate with a provider quickly, frequently, and easily. Psychiatrists provide a lot of insight regarding how medications work, which side effects are normal, and how to handle any challenges they may present.
Discussing Mental Illness in Online Couples Counseling
Psychiatric medications and treatment can be very helpful, but counseling and therapy is still an important part of tacking mental illness. In addition to seeing an online psychiatrist, you and your partner may consider seeing an online couples counselor. Online couples counseling is an excellent place for you to discuss relationship issues.
When dating somebody with a mental illness, specific questions come up. Sometimes you might not understand what your partner is going through, but that doesn't mean you can't be there for them. You can learn ways to support your partner in couples counseling. There may be times that you don't know what to do if your partner is suffering.
If you've never experienced hallucinations (for example), you might not know how to support your partner through them. But, you can ask questions. An online couples counselor is there to help you learn to communicate about mental illness with your partner in a way that they can understand and they feel supported.
Online Counseling for Couples
Being with the love of your life is thrilling. As with every relationship, there will be ups and downs. Relationships are complicated at times and we can all benefit from some outside support. When you're dating a person with a mental illness, there are unique challenges that you face. An excellent place to discuss issues related to dating someone with mental illness is online counseling.
Relationships are an important context in which mental health issues may be amplified. There are proven benefits to undergoing online counseling for a variety of mental health issues. In one survey, 35% of university students said that they would prefer online counseling but not participate in face-to-face counseling. Online counseling is also cost-effective and more accessible than traditional psychological services. Any exercise and communication that improves either partner's mental health will contribute to the overall well-being of a relationship.
Below are some reviews of ReGain counselors for you to review, from people experiencing similar issues.
"Shannon is very knowledgeable, and skilled in knowing how to use that knowledge to help others. She is also very compassionate and encouraging. I was skeptical about using a counseling service, but this experience has been incredible. I highly recommend Shannon to anyone who needs guidance or help through a difficult time in life. I gave her some enormous challenges, and nothing has been over her head. She has been a tremendous help to me.”
“I don’t know what I would have done without Harry. I was in a super low place and I was not sure what my problems were or how to solve them, but he was able to help me get to the bottom of my problems and work through them. Today I am happy and feeling like myself again. He was so easy to talk to and worked with me whenever I needed him. Even on vacation he took time to call me and talk through whatever I was going through. I would highly recommend him https://www.regain.us/harry-r-gilley/#testimonials
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Can online doctors prescribe antidepressants?
Healthcare professionals can oftentimes examine, diagnose, and help treat patients through online resources. This includes mental health professionals who are certified to prescribe medications (such as psychiatrists).
Online resources today are perhaps more numerous than they have ever been when it comes to mental health care and treatment. Professionals can offer a variety of telepsychiatry services. To understand what options are available for you or your partner, you may want to set up a consultation with a psychiatrist.
It is also possible to receive more generalized care from a doctor – one who does not focus specifically on mental health, like your regular family doctor or practitioner – through online outlets as well. It may be sufficient to receive prescriptions this way if the mental health issue at hand is less severe and doesn’t require the assistance of a specialist to adequately treat.
Doctors and healthcare professionals of all kinds who can prescribe medication are unable to prescribe medications or substances that are deemed controlled by the law through online appointments. Controlled substances are medications that can cause dependence, both mental and/or physical, and have specific restrictions. For instance, they may have limits on how many times they can be refilled to avoid abuse. Individual states may also have laws and regulations regarding what can be e-prescribed without an in-person appointment.
Many medications, including antidepressants, can be prescribed by healthcare professionals via the internet. Psychiatrists are examples of certified professionals who can legally prescribe medication to patients. Psychiatrists provide the opportunity to combine therapy and medication to better treat and understand mental illness.
Board-certified psychiatrists are accessible through the internet, and you won’t miss out on the opportunity to receive appropriate prescriptions because of the lack of face-to-face interaction. Psychiatry services work in conjunction with therapy and counseling in many cases, so you and your partner may still find online therapy to be a useful tool no matter what.
Can an online psychiatrist prescribe Xanax?
Xanax, along with other similar medications (benzodiazepines) are considered Schedule IV controlled substances by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This means that Xanax and other similar substances have a potential (albeit a low one) for abuse or dependence. (This information is only applicable to the US and US law).
As discussed previously, healthcare professionals are unable to prescribe controlled substances through online visits and care. Because of Xanax’s status, it can’t be prescribed through these means, even if a psychiatrist is licensed and allowed to prescribe medication in general. If you are working with an online psychiatrist who feels that this sort of medication is necessary, they will likely suggest you work to find an in-person provider.
Can an online doctor prescribe Xanax?
The above answer and explanation apply to all healthcare professionals, not just those focused on treating mental health issues. Xanax’s status as a controlled substances limits online professionals from legally prescribing it to patients.
Can Betterhelp prescribe medication?
The board-certified psychologists and licensed counselors that are accessible through Betterhelp can provide treatment for a variety of mental health issues. Online therapy and counseling is a great tool for anyone seeking mental health treatment, and the value of having the ability to choose which counselor or professional is right for you is something that cannot be understated.
As is the case beyond Betterhelp and its services, only healthcare professionals who are certified to prescribe medications – doctors, psychiatrists, etc. – can do so. Therapists and counselors are not interchangeable with medical doctors; the services provided through counseling predominantly focus on therapeutic treatment.
However, therapists are an essential part of mental health treatment for many people. Online therapy, including couples counseling, is especially powerful in conjunction with psychiatry services. You and your partner may consider how to incorporate psychiatric care into a treatment plan – a counselor or therapist may be able to provide you with specific resources and recommendations.
Can I be prescribed anxiety medication online?
As is the case with antidepressants and other similar medications, certified healthcare professionals are able to provide prescriptions through online services. Anxiety medication is usually available through telepsychiatry services, and you may find it more accessible. It is certainly possible to have an appointment online to receive advice, a diagnosis, and further treatment.
How can I get a prescription online?
In order to receive a prescription, you will have to set up a visit or appointment with a healthcare professional, just like you would face-to-face. During this visit, you will be able to share any relevant symptoms or experiences that may help your doctor, psychiatrist, etc. reach a proper diagnosis.
There are various services and sites that provide patients with access to a board-certified psychiatrist online. A practitioner who is board-certified in psychiatry represents the highest standards of psychiatry and neurology; they possess appropriate licenses, have extensive training, and follow required maintenance rules. Online psychiatrists are oftentimes established practitioners who are looking to offer their services to more patients across various platforms.
Getting a prescription online means working with your practitioner. Depending on which service is used, you may have video call based visits, or you may speak with a professional over the phone. Again, some states have different rules about what may be prescribed under what circumstances. Your provider will work with you to ensure that you take the proper steps to receive the care you need.
A psychiatry session can look different depending on where an individual is in their mental health journey. An online psychiatry session may be even less conventional in its format, but your practitioner will still be able to adequately discuss symptoms and issues to reach an appropriate diagnosis.
Some services offer medication purchase and delivery themselves, and others may take a more traditional route of sending medication prescriptions to a pharmacy to be fulfilled. No matter what, the first step to receiving any medication and trustworthy care is to meet with your provider.
It’s likely best to be wary of sites and services that promise medication and treatment without interaction with professionals. A good psychiatrist or other provider will recognize the necessity of working with patients through visits and appointments to understand and best treat symptoms.
Can I get a prescription without seeing the doctor?
Telehealth services – those that function online – still require meeting with a healthcare professional in some way before writing and fulfilling prescriptions. How and when you can receive a prescription also depends on the type of professional you are consulting. Board-certified psychiatrists can provide different types of care than licensed psychologists, for example. See the above explanations for more details.
How much does push help cost?
If you are or have been searching for information regarding push help, you may be looking for push Health, which is an online platform that allows patients to access medical care and assistance online.
Push Health allows providers to invite patients to be members of their virtual practice. Once added, patients can send messages, request services, and more. There may be a flat-fee patients must pay depending on the service at hand, and services can be paid for using a credit card or PayPal – no insurance required. However, insurance will help pay for any prescribed medications.
Seeing a psychiatrist online or receiving prescriptions for psychiatric medications through online psychiatry visits may still involve complying with restrictions set in place by your insurance. Many insurance providers offer options for online-based health, but you may want to look into these details before proceeding with any online services.
You may feel helpless at times, not knowing how to help your partner and support them during the challenging moments of their mental illness. That's where counseling can help. Couples counseling online can be great in conjunction with seeing a psychiatrist online. Working with multiple practitioners opens up the opportunity to provide psychiatric and therapeutic care for your partner. No matter what you or your partner are experiencing, with the right tools, there are healthy ways to move forward. Take the first step.