Issues like depression, anxiety, and OCD can rob the joy from daily life. People struggling with mental health issues often feel hopeless—like their lives have spiraled beyond their control. These are very real feelings, but there are ways that you can manage your emotions, regulate your mood, and get the help you need to feel like “you” again.
If you want to learn all about all your options, it can help to consult your primary care provider or other medical professional as soon as possible. You can reach out to others who have sought treatment for mental health issues and ask about their experience. In making a decision, you may find it helpful to reflect on what makes you fearful when you think about seeking help for your mental health issues. What are the barriers that are standing in your way? If you are concerned about the disruption to your life or being separated from loved ones or another circle of support, an outpatient plan might be the best fit for you.
Because you will not be “living in” anywhere, the fee for outpatient services will be less than an inpatient program, which will include fees for accommodations, food, and other amenities that may add up greatly in the cost department.
For many, privacy is a real concern. Many find an outpatient treatment solution to be more private and discreet than an inpatient stay. Evaluate how important this is to you so you can make the decision that supports your concerns. It will be important for you to be able to relax and focus on getting well, which will be difficult in an environment where you do not feel that your privacy is adequately protected.
People who opt for outpatient management live at home. Many people continue to go to work as usual and do all the things they usually do. Because you have the ability to maintain your day-to-day life as an outpatient, no one needs to know you’re undergoing treatment for a mental health concern. How much you share with others is your choice and you can keep any disruption to a minimum.
People with especially busy lives often benefit from the increased flexibility that outpatient help offers. Outpatient options often do not interfere with careers, basic daily errands, or social lives. You may be able to find evening and/or weekend outpatient alternatives if you need them.
Relocating to a completely different residential setting or living environment can be unsettling and make people feel isolated and lonely. If you want mental health assistance without these challenges, outpatient services might be a good fit for you. There’s a lot to be said for the importance of keeping your circle of support intact when you’re dealing with intense therapy. In other cases, staying in a toxic home situation might provide the exact opposite effect—this is why a careful examination of the factors that typically affect which mental health setting you choose is very individual.
Be aware if you choose outpatient mental health services that there are many different options. You can opt for individual, group, or a combination of therapies. If your mental health issues are related to substance use, you and your counselor can create a customized program for you that includes drug education, substance abuse education, socialization classes, relapse management, pharmacological assistance, and more.
Whatever path to mental wellness you choose, don’t be afraid to take that first step. Becoming aware of your issues is a profound thing. Allowing others to help you deal with them so you can live a richer, more abundant life is just as powerful. Finding a treatment program that makes you feel at ease is how you will begin to move toward greater peace and improved mental health.