An Online Psychiatrist Can Help Your Partner Manage Their Mental Illness
By: Joy Youell
Updated April 28, 2021
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 experienced anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, PTSD, or any other mental illness yourself. Mental illness is a real, treatable condition. This does mean that it 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 to discuss psychiatric medications, if prescribed, 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) 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. As the partner of a person with mental illness, you need 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 other behaviors that harm them. You can provide support, but not an endorsement, of your partner.
Remember that self-destructive behavior of any kind represents a significant problem and the potential for lasting damage. If you or a loved one have been experiencing any suicidal thoughts, reach out for help immediately. You can reach the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You may also want to ask for access to your partner's therapist. If 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.
As their partner, you can assure them that they're doing the right thing by helping themselves get well. If the licensed psychiatrist prescribes it upon assessment, the psychiatric medication can significantly 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, if needed and prescribed, that will help them. Working with a psychiatrist online is approachable, widely accessible, and a great option to consider.
The opportunity to have an appointment online may also be an attractive option for people living with less access to in-person care, like rural or remote areas. Depending on your partner's symptoms and condition(s), 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 experience these sorts of symptoms related to their mental illness(es).
Psychiatry visits usually involve lots of discussion about your partner’s mental health and monitoring 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. 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 struggle. 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. If prescribed by a licensed psychiatrist as a treatment method for your partner, 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. 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 can be difficult to experience. It's particularly hard when you are transitioning from one prescribed medication to another with the guidance of a licensed psychiatrist. The beginning of psychiatric care may be full of ups and downs, especially if your partner has struggled with mental illness for a long time. Try to understand that there is a real major struggle when you're supporting your partner through a medication change.
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. The ability to have an open and honest conversation is important in any relationship and can definitely help you grow stronger as a couple.
Discussing Mental Illness in Online Couples Counseling
Psychiatric medications and treatment can be very helpful, but counseling and therapy are still important in tackling 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 struggling.
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 so that they can understand and 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.
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 helps 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
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 is experiencing, there are healthy ways to move forward with the right tools. Take the first step.
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