If Not Now, Then When: COVID-19 and 5 Reasons Why This Is An Opportune Time To Seek Treatment

The Corona Virus Disease pandemic (COVID-19) is causing unwanted and unneeded stress, grief and anxiety for many people.  Individuals around the world are concerned about their own physical health and the health of their loved ones, navigating life isolated at home, homeschooling, financial concerns, and much more.  This worry has caused a significant increase in mental health concerns such as depression, anxiety, eating disorders (as well as overeating and binge eating), and substance abuse (especially alcohol as liquor stores remain essential business) as well as other addictions (especially online gambling).  The crisis has also contributed to an increase in family and couples conflict (marital discord), as well as parenting concerns. Although COVID-19 has created obstacles and unique challenges to enter treatment for mental health and addiction related issues, treatment centers and therapists across the state are adapting.  The irony of the situation is that now presents an opportune time to seek professional help if you are struggling with a mental health issue such as depression or anxiety or an addiction related issue such as alcohol addiction or prescription pill addiction.


Working remotely is not only accepted, but required


One common excuse that people find to avoid treatment is their busy schedule.  Perhaps they work long hours, have a demanding career, have to take care of their children or elderly parent, or have other obligations that come along with day-to-day life.  The truth is that for anyone who has a willingness and desire to get well at any time in their life, even without our current pandemic in place, they can always find a way.  Now serves as an opportune time to seek out treatment from a private therapist or go to an inpatient drug and alcohol treatment center if you are a non-essential worker.  This is in part because if you are working from home, there is probably no other time in your life when you will be able to work remotely.  Therefore, if inpatient treatment is needed such as a detox or rehab for drugs or alcohol, this time would allow you to work remotely from your treatment center without even having to let your employer, colleagues or clients know.  While treatment is meant to be a time to focus on you and receive psychotherapeutic and holistic treatment, treatment centers are also able to balance that by accommodating your career needs, especially for executive level individuals who are essential to their business.




While inpatient treatment may be necessary for certain individuals suffering from severe alcohol or drug addiction or other addictions or mental health issues, many individuals are also suitable to receive treatment for mental health or addiction related issues on an outpatient basis, which for now mostly means from the comfort of their own home.  As most know by now, telemedicine (or telehealth) are currently common practice for most medical professionals.  The same is true for therapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, and other such mental health professionals via teletherapy.  As with any psychotherapist, you can find a psychotherapist that practices teletherapy and specializes in a certain mental health issue such as a therapist specializing in depression or a therapist specializing in alcohol abuse, and you can also find a therapist who specializes in a certain therapeutic approach such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), trauma therapy, holistic therapy, marriage therapy or behavioral therapy.  Teletherapy or telepsychiatry are extremely convenient, as you don’t even have to leave your home.  Psychiatry sessions are performed virtually using online video such as Zoom, Facetime or Skype.  Teletherapy has been found to be as effective as in person therapy.  Medications can be virtually sent to a pharmacy near you if needed.


More time


During normal times, pre-pandemic, it may have been hard to find time to seek out a therapist for your mental health or addiction related issue.  Presently, since you do not have to commute to or from work, do not have to take your children to or from school, do not have to go meet your friends for dinner, or go to or from anywhere aside from perhaps the grocery store or pharmacy every few days/weeks, this allows for extra time to focus on you.  This means there should be extra time during the day that you can now spend receiving therapeutic help for your depression, anxiety, alcohol addiction, drug addiction, or other such mental health or addiction related issue.  You don’t even have to spend time commuting to or from your therapist’s office.  It is understandable that your time right now may be occupied with other things, such as more tedious or time-consuming work as you learn to readjust to working remotely, or perhaps more time homeschooling your child.  Do your best to manage and navigate whatever your circumstances are, and remember that nothing is more important than your own well-being and health.


Less intimidating


Seeking out professional help for a mental health or addiction related issue is not easy.  There is still so much stigma attached with having a mental health issue or an addiction, resulting in individuals being embarrassed that they need help.  There is also a great deal of fear associated with receiving therapy, such as having to disclose personal thoughts, feelings or behaviors.  There are also fears associated with giving up an addiction, such as fear of the unknown and what their life will be like afterwards.  There are also concerns about being uncomfortable if one has to go through withdrawal from alcohol, opioid, benzodiazepines or any other drug.  Furthermore, individuals may not believe that they are treatable or able to recover from whatever issue they are facing perhaps due to failed attempts to get well in their past.  Whatever the case may be, seeking help is never easy.  In a way, teletherapy can be less intimidating than walking into a therapist’s office or walking into a treatment center.  You can be in the comfort of your own home and have the virtual distance between you and your mental health therapist, and do not have to face the anxieties or fears that may be normally associated with going to therapy.


If not now, then when


COVID-19 or not, it is never easy to ask for help or be willing to receive help for a mental health or addiction related issue.  It is usually never something that somebody wants to do, but rather something that someone has to do.  Life will go on after this and seeking treatment in the future will not be any easier than it was in the past or than it could be now.  In fact, mental health and addiction related issues are progressive, meaning that the longer they are left untreated the worse they will become and the more difficult they will become to treat.  As such, it is always best to seek out professional help for a mental health or addiction related issue as soon as possible.  Furthermore, our current crisis has proven to be causing or exacerbating mental health and addiction related issues, especially depression, anxiety, alcohol use disorder, and eating disorders (as well as overeating, binge eating, and mindless eating).  Therefore, this is the time to seek out professional help before the problem gets worse.


If our firm, Family Addiction Specialist, can be of service to you or a loved one during this time, or anytime in the future, do not hesitate to reach out.  Our firm offers concierge therapy and coaching services to high-net-worth individuals for mental health issues such as depression counseling and anxiety counseling, and for addictions including alcohol addiction, opioid addiction, as well as other substance abuse issues in addition to other addictions such as gambling.  Our firm also specializes in working with families and couples with our couples counseling, family therapy, or marriage counseling services to work through conflicts that arise during active addiction as well as other relationship issues.  We also have an undisclosed private office in the Upper East Side of Manhattan New York, NY, NYC for ultimate privacy and confidentiality.  We regularly utilize technology via online video for teletherapy when individuals are unable to attend therapy appointments in person due to a busy schedule, travel, or other reasons.  During this time we are only providing therapy services via teletherapy – but are still able to provide breathalyzing and/or urine drug screens using virtual technology or pick-up from your home in order to help keep individuals accountable if they are suffering from an alcohol or drug addiction during this time.  We are well versed in various therapeutic approaches that we incorporate into our practice such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), motivational interviewing, behavior therapy, and family systems therapy.


For more information or to inquire about our private concierge therapy services and/or our teletherapy (online therapy/virtual therapy) please contact our undisclosed therapy office location in the Upper East Side of NYC today at (929) 220-2912.

Lin Sternlicht & Aaron Sternlicht

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