The recent pandemic has drastically changed how we used to perceive the world. It has produced an apparent international digital divide, which has forced nearly every business to cater to online customers. Online therapy had been the talk of the town long before the pandemic. However, people had a lot of concerns over its efficiency as they saw therapy to be something that could only be done face to face. Brick and mortar outlets, which used to be persistent with following their traditional methods of running a business have all realized how important building an online presence is. Different sectors that had opposed the move to shift online are now slowly doing the right thing.
Doctors offer online appointments to their patients, therapists are holding online sessions, and fitness providers are now offering remote sessions, and schools and universities have all adopted an online education model. In the wake of the pandemic, research suggests that online therapy sessions have resulted in being highly successful as they are just as effective as traditional methods of therapy. The coronavirus itself has resulted in a lot of stress, anxiety, and fear, which has motivated people to find an outlet to offload their tension.
Teletherapy Vs. Traditional Therapy
Teletherapy, which had been a thing for the past decade, gained momentum during the pandemic. A lot of private companies like Betterhelp and Talkspace have come around to provide patients with effective counseling and cope up with their problems. Teletherapy has been termed as a better therapy model due to a number of reasons, the most prevalent of which are:
- Teletherapy provides greater access to care as there are a lot of people who are unable to use the traditional form of therapy due to some physical disability. Due to the ongoing lockdown restrictions, teletherapy is a great help to people who depend on their therapists.
- Secondly, a lot of people saw therapy to be a waste of time, or they simply didn’t think that it deserved a place in their daily schedule. As the pandemic has forced them to work from home, people generally have more free time than they used to have. Online therapy fits perfectly in the daily schedule as people don’t have to travel anywhere and can attend these sessions from the comfort of their home.
- Teletherapy also offers patients a sense of security and privacy as they don’t have to spend time in waiting rooms or in traffic. They can seek treatment while sitting in the privacy of their bedrooms, and it can’t get easier than that.
- The most important reason why teletherapy is making a boom during the pandemic is that COVID-19 has forced patients to seek treatment from their home. To prevent it from spreading, you mustn’t interact with people, which can only be done by making use of online therapy sessions.
What to Look for In an Online Therapy Service?
Now that you know the benefits of going for online therapy during the pandemic, you must understand that not all services are the same. With so many options in the market like Betterhelp, Talkspace, iCounseling, Ginger, ReGain, etc., you must weigh what you are getting from each of them and then choose one that goes in line with your personal goals.
In the end, it all boils down to what you are looking for in your therapist. While both Betterhelp and Talkspace are undoubtedly two of the best therapy services, you should put your needs before anything else. Make sure that you get a personal therapist who puts you as his foremost priority. Moreover, you should also make sure that he is experienced and has the right credentials so that you get the best possible help.
Out of the most famous online counseling services, Betterhelp and Talkspace are my personal favorite as they’re essentially the same service and offer patients everything that they need at an affordable price. Let’s look at what each of them has to offer.
With a suitable price of $65 per week, Betterhelp offers over 11,000 competent therapists who have been helping people get in touch with their emotions for quite some time. The best part about Betterhelp is that they offer their clients an interactive platform where they can exchange messages with their therapists, do a live chat, engage in video sessions from their laptops or desktops, and also have a mobile app where patients get all the information they need. The best thing about Betterhelp is that if you feel like your therapist isn’t helping you, you can ask for an alternative therapist anytime you want, and you will be accommodated likewise. While both Betterhelp and Talkspace take precedence over other online therapy providers, Betterhelp has some sort of an edge as they are HIPAA certified and use a 256-bit encryption system for their platform, which is virtually impossible to crack.
My second most favorite online therapy service is none other than Talkspace, as it is inarguably the most popular service in town right now. The best thing about Talkspace is its branding strategy, and I like the way they have created awareness about online therapy in different parts of the world and have played a huge part in changing people’s perception of therapy. Boasting over 3000 certified therapists, Talkspace might be considered to be a bit costly by some people as its most feasible plan costs about $99 per week, which is $25 more than Betterhelp. Compared to Betterhelp, Talkspace doesn’t have an interactive platform, but their customer services are still one of the best.
Follow our official Mental Health article series from here.
Overcoming Social Anxiety is Pretty Easy When You Know What It Is!
Some people are afraid of interacting with other people. This fear is not a normal situation, and it is called social anxiety. We should be able to identify this situation correctly when it happens to those we care about. It’s necessary to overcome social anxiety and help from outside sources may be needed.
- What Causes Social Anxiety? – Before having a look at how to overcome social anxiety
- How to track whether you have this condition or not?
- How to Deal with Social Anxiety at School?
- How to deal with social anxiety at work?
- Why should we overcome anxiety?
- Overcoming Social Anxiety Step by Step
- Social Anxiety Disorder Medication
- How to track whether you have this condition or not?
What Causes Social Anxiety? – Before having a look at how to overcome social anxiety
There are many reasons for social anxiety. The bad experiences received in the past include childhood traumas, negative beliefs regarding social interactions, dysfunctional behavioral patterns, and social insecurities. Social anxiety can also be genetically transmitted. Sometimes, social anxiety happens due to neural damage that has occurred in the brain. Additionally, social anxiety is caused by long-term working with technology without having regular interpersonal interactions, and due to physical triggers such as bullying.
How to track whether you have this condition or not?
We can see many symptoms of a person suffering from social anxiety. These symptoms include physical issues such as blushing, heart rate increase, sweating, trembling, stomachaches, blank mind, and muscle pains.
How to Deal with Social Anxiety at School?
You may have seen children who are struggling to pay attention to lessons in a classroom. Anxiety could be the main reason that leads to this situation. Children show their anxiety related to school in many ways. In some cases, a child who refuses to go school causes disruptive behavior to their classmates, cries in a classroom is reluctant to answer the teacher’s questions, takes false illnesses, and visits the sickroom more often, may show anxiety symptoms.
Teachers should be more concerned when dealing with these children. The attendance of these students having anxiety is comparatively less than those without. And the attention they pay to lessons is less. Therefore, these students have to be motivated and encouraged more often to reduce this imbalance. Teachers can manage these students because they seldom cooperate with other students in group work and other classroom activities.
Moreover, teachers can embrace proper mental health habits and routines inside classrooms. Teachers should always encourage students to talk and express their emotions rather than hiding them. They should start to trust their teacher. Teachers should always adopt positive attitudes over those students in the classroom. That helps students to get motivated. Teachers need to pay more attention to development of interpersonal skills of the students. When you find a student having social anxiety, they should be guided with relaxation techniques to calm down.
How to deal with social anxiety at work?
The work station is a challenging environment for everybody, unlike educational institutes. Therefore, we can find our colleagues suffering from social anxiety caused by work environments. Sometimes, it is difficult to deal with those workmates, but we have to understand their situation. You may have seen your colleagues who are reluctant to present in front of others, who speak less when many people are around, who find it challenging to do work when others are watching, and are shy to participate in social activities.
These fears usually are effects of past experiences, especially at home and in schools. Therefore, overcoming these fears is in their own hands. But the others should make a workspace comfortable for a colleague who has social anxiety. They should be motivated to push themselves forward, help regularly, and praise them when they are doing well. We should guide them to be well-prepared for activities like presentations. Colleagues should always be supported to tackle their strengths rather than their weaknesses.
Colleagues with social anxiety should not be isolated but welcomed to groups. Then they can build trust in others and get motivated to deal with others. When we treat them well, the social anxiety that reduces their confidence decreases.
Why should we overcome anxiety?
Social anxiety reduces confidence. It can take away many golden opportunities from your world. It can kill your happiness. Therefore, you must overcome social anxiety. As we have already mentioned, bad experiences in the past and negative feelings are the main reasons for social anxiety. Why do we let our past to control our present and future?
Justin Weeks, an assistant professor in psychology at Ohio University, states that “For some people, social anxiety is pretty pervasive.” We have to agree with that statement since we have experienced it with our colleagues at schools and work. As per his idea, social anxiety is a fear to be evaluated. So don’t you think it is essential for us to start talking about this topic?
Let us see how to overcome social anxiety.
Overcoming Social Anxiety Step by Step
There are several measures one can follow if they find that they are suffering from social anxiety. But, the primary action is confirming that you have social anxiety.
Find out what situations you should avoid.
Now you all know that social anxiety is an issue that affects our behavioral patterns. When you feel a dislike of going on social events and move on with your mates, you feel less confident to talk in front of a group of people, When you realize that you have a lack of words you can identify that there is an issue. So, an initial thing you can do to help yourself overcome anxiety is to understand the situations you avoid as a person.
Rank your Fears
Rank the fears according to their nature. This means that you should put your fears in order. When you rank, these fears give the lowest ranking to what you are afraid of the least. Give the highest ranking to what you are scared of more, and which causes panic attacks. Then you can go for a measure to overcome social anxiety by analyzing what you should initially do.
Prediction is something essential to overcome social anxiety. When you rank your fears, you will identify how long you can continue those fears. Prediction is assuming how long is the fear would remain and what its effects would be. When you do a forecast, it helps to get precautions to control social anxiety. Just imagine a situation like a presentation in front of your work colleagues. When you identify your fear of talking in front of a group of people and predicting its effects, you can practice your presentation well and organize yourself. Therefore, predictions always support you in overcoming social anxiety. But you should identify the right feelings. It could help you to find what you are terrified of rather than what you worry more about.
Eliminate the behaviors that you take as safety measures!
Yes, this is mandatory. When you practice safety behaviors to avoid social interactions, you will get addicted to those measures. Just think of a person who gets drunk to meet up with colleagues since he does not have the confidence to do it otherwise because of anxiety. Then there is a high tendency for him to get addicted to alcohol to overcome those situations. So, it is essential to eliminate such safety behaviors when you are on your way to overcoming anxiety.
As you already know, anxiety affects your confidence. When you feel reluctant to be in front of people, talk with colleagues, and participate in social activities, you realize that you have lost faith. But you should be aware of what happens and when it happens. Do not let your thoughts control you. It would be best if you manage your thoughts instead. When you feel afraid, when you feel less confident, challenge yourself, and remind your inner thoughts, you can do it.
Keep up practicing!
Practice is a tool to overcome social anxiety. When you realize that you have social anxiety and what you can do to control an embarrassing situation, practice any way you can adopt to overcome social anxiety. When you practice more, you will be able to face it more confidently than before.
Self-rewarding is the last but not least step you can follow to overcome anxiety. Rewarding is like giving a gift to yourself. Rewarding can enhance your confidence. When you handle a situation well, you can reward and congratulate yourself for doing it well by controlling your anxious feelings. It automatically motivates you to overcome social anxiety.
Social Anxiety Disorder Medication
Drugs used to treat anxiety are called anxiolytics. Doctors commonly use Antidepressants to treat the symptoms of social phobia. Symptoms usually subside after four weeks of treatment.
They use some over-the-counter “relaxation” drinks containing central nervous system neurotransmitters and hormones etc., without efficiency.
We hope you now got a good idea of what causes social anxiety, how to deal with it, and how to overcome social anxiety. Be confident and encouraged. Do not let social anxiety kill your happiness.
Read our articles about anxiety, and depression,
- What are the symptoms of an anxiety attack?
- What are the Physical Symptoms of Anxiety?
- What is an Anxiety Attack?
- What is the Best Medication for Social Anxiety?
- What is Social Anxiety?
- Depression Quotes That Could Make Impact
If you need professional counseling with a licensed therapist – Get matched easily with a licensed, board-accredited counselor today. More than 3000 therapists with 38 million+ counseling sessions are ready to help you on BetterHelp.
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What are the symptoms of an anxiety attack?
Anxiety attack, one of the common problem people facing in the modern world. Here I’ve gathered symptoms of an anxiety attack for your health.
What is an Anxiety Attack?
Anxiety attacks are never enjoyable. They bring on an intense fear and panic, often without much warning, while feeling a lack of control makes it an all-around unpleasant experience.
The process of an anxiety attack often takes a while to develop before becoming far more intense and usually uncontrollable. However, they are usually caused by a situation that is viewed as stressful or threatening, meaning it’s possible to detect the cause of an anxiety attack.
Knowing the Symptoms
Knowing when an anxiety attack is taking place is easy because it is so intense and uncomfortable – yet seeing the symptoms develop over a longer period is usually more challenging. Because anxiety attacks occur due to a build-up of anxiety over certain situations, knowing the symptoms as they occur can help to stop the attack before it occurs.
It’s also useful to know the symptoms of a panic attack in case you’ve never had one before. People often associate the symptoms with something more serious, such as a heart attack or even feeling they are dying, so it’s always worthwhile to know the symptoms.
However, this isn’t always as easy as the symptoms of an anxiety attack differ from each person. Some face a combination of physical and mental symptoms, while others only have a few symptoms to deal with.
It’s quite hard to detect all the mental symptoms of an anxiety attack because they are quite overwhelming during the attack. Many arise before the attack reaches its peak, however, so be sure to keep an eye out for symptoms such as,
- Lack of control
These are usually much easier to detect simply for how noticeable they are.
A variety of physical symptoms may appear before or during an anxiety attack, with one of the most common being increased heart rate and blood pressure, usually in the form of a racing heart. This is usually paired with shortness of breath, palpitations and difficulties breathing, with many mistaking these symptoms for a heart attack.
Because blood pressure rises and heart rate increases during anxiety, people often feel lightheaded and/or dizzy.
Feelings of restlessness are also a common symptom of a panic attack. This may be struggling to remain still and calm or physically shaking and trembling.
A generally uneasy feeling such as numbness and tingling is also possible. For example, many feel a pins and needles in their hands and feet and other parts of the body.
Stomach issues are prevalent in anxiety attacks such as a knot in the stomach, abdominal pains, upset stomach, stomach cramps, and nausea.
Other notable physical symptoms include:
- Suddenly flashes of hot or cold
- Excessive sweating
- Dry mouth
- Tightness around the throat
- Weak knees
- Detachment from reality
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What are the Physical Symptoms of Anxiety?
Anxiety disorders are often categorised by their mental symptoms. Intense feelings of unease, worry, and fear are well-known symptoms of both general anxiety and anxiety disorders, but there are also many physical symptoms caused by anxiety.
In fact, these are often more severe than the mental effects, often being debilitating and having an adverse effect on a person’s general physical health. When combined with the various mental symptoms of anxiety, it’s easy to see why anxiety disorders are so overwhelming.
Let’s take a closer look at common physical symptoms of anxiety
General anxiety often results in people tensing their muscles, so when dealing with an anxiety disorder there is often significant muscle tension throughout the body. These symptoms appear throughout the body, although are most common around the back, neck, and shoulder.
The reason you develop tense muscles from anxiety is that you’re struggling to relax, making the body more tense for longer than it should be.
Dizziness and Lightheaded
Feeling dizzy and lightheaded is another common physical symptom of anxiety. Dizziness happens when blood pressure to the brain decreases, so because anxiety usually results in increased heart rate you may find yourself feeling lightheaded and dizzy.
Many people dealing with anxiety struggle to get adequate sleep, even developing into serious sleeping disorders in certain situations.
Anxiety makes you feel constantly worried, making it get relaxed enough for a restful sleep, leading many people to develop poor sleeping habits as a result of their anxiety.
This also causes fatigue and tiredness during the day, not to mention increasing the various health risks associated with a lack of good sleep.
Shortness of Breath
This is a collaboration of anxiety symptoms that can become incredibly overwhelming – many people suffer severe panic attacks that start from shortness of breath. It’s caused by a few things, including higher blood pressure and heart rate, leading people to struggle to properly breathe.
It is one of the more severe physical symptoms of anxiety, meaning it’s thankfully not as common as other symptoms, although it’s very common among people with dealing with panic disorder.
Churning is the stomach is a physical symptom of anxiety but one that isn’t necessarily too negative. However, the entire digestive system is sometimes affected by physical symptoms of anxiety, none of which are nice.
For instance, anxiety brings on feelings of nausea for many, while a general feeling of uneasiness in the stomach also happens in many cases. Furthermore, digestive problems like constipation and diarrhoea can develop over the long-term, which make living a normal life very difficult.
Sometimes people dealing with anxiety simply cannot remain still and relaxed. Restlessness may also cause an edginess that increases feelings of irritation, often leading the person to physical shake or tremble from their anxiety.
If you find yourself dealing with any of the above symptoms then it may be down to anxiety. Consider speaking with your doctor to see if there is a possibility you have an undiagnosed anxiety disorder!
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