When you have a mental illness, living in a small town can sometimes be both a blessing and a curse. The quiet environment and sense of community can be good for your mental health. However, the isolation and the lack of resources can be troublesome for many people with mental health issues. If you are in such a situation, you do not need to despair.
There are things you can do to make living in a small town with mental illness work better for you. Get to know some of the steps that you can take to get the care and support you need for your mental health while living in a small town and then, you can start taking steps to do so as soon as possible.
Look Into Telepsychiatry
Most small towns do not have a psychiatrist or a psychiatric nurse practitioner. Because of this, it can be difficult for you to get the medications and the medication management that you need (as well as someone to talk to about your symptoms and issues) on a regular basis. However, you may be able to get the help you need through telepsychiatry.
When you live in an area without a psychiatrist, a local doctor or clinic might be connected with services in a larger city via the internet and telephone services. Essentially, what you would do is go into the local office and use a computer to have an appointment with a psychiatrist. It would otherwise be just like a face-to-face session, only you would be using video chat features to see them.
The psychiatric care provider can still diagnose and treat mental illnesses, including doing medication management and prescribing. This service gives you access to psychiatrists when you might otherwise struggle to find one within several hours of travel time from your small town. Similar services may be available for counseling and therapy as well.
Get Some Mental Health Tracking Apps
Because you might not be meeting with a therapist or a psychiatrist through telepsychiatry as often as you would if you saw them in person in a larger city, you may want to utilize other types of resources to help fill in the gaps. When you go several weeks between psychiatry or counseling sessions, for example, it can be tough to remember everything that has gone on with your moods and other symptoms.
Mental health tracking apps can help to make this easier for you. These apps are designed to provide you with a way to log your moods and other symptoms on a daily basis. You will have a series of questions to answer and scales to fill out daily. For example, a question may ask if you took your medications as prescribed that day. Another may ask if you had thoughts of suicide that day.
Using these apps, you will simply answer these questions once a day, and often if you want to, you can add extra comments. The app will store this data and create mood and symptom tracking charts that can help you keep closer account of how you are doing. You can send this information to your care providers via email or simply pull up your charts and information when you are in your sessions. This will help you to more accurately discuss your mental health and symptoms and improve the treatment you receive through telepsychiatry and counseling services.
Now that you know a few of the ways to make it easier to get the mental health care you need while living in a small town, you can start taking steps immediately to improve your mental health situation.Share