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Considering Online Therapy for Suicidal Thoughts? Don't.

Update Date: Jan 21, 2020 11:23 PM EST
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Considering Online Therapy for Suicidal Thoughts? Don't.
(Photo : Unsplash)

There's no doubt that online therapy has become progressively more popular in recent years. Online therapy has been proven to be an effective option for helping people work through a variety of different mental health conditions. Celebrities, professionals, and everyday people are advocating the use of this interesting new therapeutic option.

However, online therapy is not perfect and cannot be considered viable for every form of mental illness, even though there have been articles about how it can help. Online therapy is better suited for people who have mild-to-moderate mental illnesses - ones which could be managed by simply seeing a therapist.

People with more serious mental health problems, such as those considering suicide, shouldn't rely on online therapy as a safety measure. In many cases, therapists are not equipped to deal with these problems, and either way, an online therapist won't be able to protect you if you're thinking about hurting yourself.

In this article we're going to talk about some situations in which it's not a good idea to use online therapy.

What Online Therapy Is Good For

Don't get it wrong - online therapy is a very useful and powerful tool for treating certain mental illnesses.

However, there is a limit to what can be accomplished by online therapy. Generally, online therapy should only be used to help you work through problems that could be dealt with by an everyday therapist. After all, these are the people that you'll be connected with through your online therapy service.

This means that online therapy can be great for treating things like:

  • Mild-to-moderate depression, sadness, and problems with motivation 

  • Mild-to-moderate social anxiety, generalized anxiety, panic disorder

  • Conditions related to trauma, such as PTSD 

  • Other mental health conditions or mood imbalances that don't require hospitalization or serious medication (although people who are already on medication may find it useful to seek help from an online therapist while continuing to take their medication).

Online therapy can be great for helping people through these problems. However, it has its limitations. 

What Online Therapy Is Not Good For

Therapists are not emergency workers, and are only equipped to deal with mental, emotional, and psychological problems up to a certain degree of intensity. Unfortunately, they cannot help people with every problem - especially when the problem involves the risk of an individual hurting themselves or other people.

Some of the problems that you should not be dealt with by using online therapy. Some of these issues include:

  • Having suicidal thoughts. Suicidal thoughts can spiral out of control very quickly, and it's important to be in a safe environment when you're struggling with suicidal thoughts.

  • Serious personality disorders. If you're struggling with a depersonalization disorder or a condition like bipolar, then an online therapist probably won't be equipped enough to help you with these problems. 

  • Thoughts of violence or hurting yourself or other people. If you are thinking about seriously hurting yourself or someone else then it's probably not a good idea to simply seek the help of an online therapist. 

Conclusion

There are a lot of things that online therapy can be helpful for. However, online therapy has its limitations, and should only be used to help treat conditions that are mild to moderate.

Serious mental health problems that could result in the harm of yourself or another individual should not be dealt with using online therapy. These problems could seriously affect - or endanger - the lives of other people, and should be approached in a more serious manner.

If you are having suicidal thoughts or thinking about hurting yourself or other people, then don't hesitate to seek help from a hospital or a qualified professional.

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