Kristy is learning to fight isolation, manage anxiety and ease into a peaceful post-pandemic life with the help of her Teladoc therapist.
When the pandemic hit, Kristy P.’s mental health suffered. The 44-year-old extrovert, busy professional and mom of six went from a crowded social life to working from home and staying inside all day.
As restrictions eased, Kristy found it hard to get back to normal again after living such an isolated life for so many months. One year into the pandemic, the Tampa, Florida, resident “was having a hard time going out in public,” she says. “I wasn’t having a fear of getting sick, just an actual fear of being around people and socializing again.”
She figured a therapist might help, but there were barriers. “I’ve seen a therapist in the past, but I haven’t been in a few years because I couldn’t find anybody who took my insurance. Or that took insurance period.”
Teladoc removes obstacles to getting help
“I didn’t have to worry about paying out of pocket.”
The timing was right to try Teladoc. “My job sent out notifications letting us know about Teladoc [for mental health]. I decided to give it a try. I had been using [Teladoc] for the medical portion of it, and then they had recently added the mental health portion. I thought I’d just try that.”
When Kristy realized she wouldn’t have to jump through the typical hoops, that was one less worry. “One of the barriers I’ve had is finding a therapist who accepted insurance. Teladoc took away that barrier because I don’t have to pay anything for it. It’s paid for by my benefits provider. I didn’t have to worry about paying out of pocket—that was a big plus for me to try it.”
“The bios were very helpful in finding a therapist.”
Kristy found it easier to find the right therapist for her. “I knew I wanted an African American woman. I knew I wanted somebody who was Christian, so the bios were very helpful.”
“I don’t have to go anywhere.”
Therapy that fit into Kristy’s schedule and at a place where she’s most comfortable were two important factors in getting started.
With Teladoc, Kristy can meet with her therapist from home and on her own time. And she’s found the perfect time for her—Saturday mornings when her family’s still sleeping. “I’m fresh, and I can get all my thoughts out in a very comfortable way.”
“I think being at home makes you feel more comfortable because you’re in your own space. A lot of times, I’m in my robe and pajamas, but I feel comfortable that way.”
Kristy says that while she’s had a lot of in-person therapy in the past, she finds virtual therapy suits her better. “I find it to be more therapeutic doing therapy virtually and being at my home where I’m comfortable and not in an office. I don’t have to go anywhere. I can schedule it at my convenience at a time that works best for me.”
“I never feel like I’m on a time clock.”
With virtual therapy in a comfortable environment, Kristy feels more like she’s having a candid conversation with a longtime friend. “I don’t feel the intimidation of being in the office and who’s next and is my hour up. I never feel like I’m on a time clock. That’s really nice, and it works well for me.”
Kristy P. from Tampa, Florida, is learning how to fight isolation and manage anxiety with the help of her Teladoc therapist. On the far right, Kristy is pictured with her family. Courtesy: Kristy.
Now, Kristy’s on a journey to being her most authentic self
Kristy was initially worried about what virtual therapy would look like, but she says she thoroughly enjoys her sessions and feels they’re really helping her.
“My first session was amazing. The [therapist] I picked was so calming. I feel like we’ve been friends for years, and it was such a natural flowing process. I was surprised how well it went.”
Over the past year, Kristy and her therapist have worked to reduce her feelings of isolation now that she’s working from home full time. “I’ve been painting and doing things in my office, trying to bring up my spirit and make sure that I have a really nice work environment.”
She’s also worked on managing her anxiety and getting out of the house more. “I’ve had a lot of anxiety about driving since being home for such a long time. I’ve had to do a lot of self-talk to get myself into a car and back out on the streets again. [My therapist] has helped me with visualizations and different ways to reduce the anxiety and the fear of driving. It’s been phenomenal.”
Kristy even takes her therapist’s words with her beyond their sessions. “There have been things that my therapist’s told me to focus on, and I have made them into an affirmation booklet. Whenever I feel anxious or have any issues, I go right back to that booklet and just read through what she told me to remember. It’s been very helpful for me.”
“[My therapist’s] just been a godsend. I can’t stop singing her praises. We have some very authentic conversations, and I think the therapy has been better because of that.”
Looking toward the future, Kristy says, “I’m still not 100% there yet, but I feel much better than what I did before.”
Learn more about Teladoc therapy services, and take our quiz to find out if therapy might be right for you.
Published June 2, 2022