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Thailand’s Mental Health: Counselling, Assistance, and Self-Help

Everything you need to know about mental health in Thailand.

What is Mental Health Issues?

Mental disorder is a general term that refers to a group of illnesses, similar to how heart disease refers to a group of illnesses that affect the heart. Mental health issues is a psychiatric disorder that affects a person’s emotions, perceptions, behaviours, and relationships with others.

Mental health concerns are now more common than ever and according to a study published in The International Journal of Mental Health, You may encounter more mental health issues as an expat than you expect. We hope that by reading this article, you will gain a better understanding of the most common mental health issues, as well as what insurance options are available to you and where you can get the best treatment in Thailand.

Key Points

  • A mental health condition has an effect on how a person thinks, feels, and acts.
  • Mental health problems and illnesses can manifest themselves in a variety of ways.
  • Depression, relationship and adjustment issues are the most common mental illnesses in Thailand.

What Are the Most Common Mental Health Issues in Thailand?

Mental health issues and illness can appear in a number of forms. Even if you feel a little “off,” it’s important to seek help, here are some of the most common mental health issues and their symptoms.

Depression
Depression is a chronic, low-energy, low-motivation state of inability to concentrate. It triggers pessimistic thoughts and feelings of inadequacy. Depression is mainly triggered by traumatising life events but the cause of the triggers is complicated and difficult to pinpoint. There is a wide range of severity when it comes to depression. Seek help if you’ve been experiencing depression symptoms for more than two months. Clinical depression must be diagnosed by experts, and treated with counselling and medication.

Anxiety
Anxiety is the body’s natural reaction to stress, it is also known as a feeling of fear or uncertainty of what is to come in the future. Living abroad exposes you to life’s challenges, which may exacerbate existing anxieties, if your worries become overwhelming and have a negative impact on your life, you should seek support. Anxiety like depression is a mood condition that can vary from moderate to extreme and is linked to stress. Panic attacks are frightening and anxiety disorders can set them off.

Anxiety treatment is divided into two categories: psychotherapy and medication. Medical treatment isn’t required for some people suffering from anxiety and just changes in one’s lifestyle may be sufficient to relieve your anxiety.

Treatment, on the other hand, can help you overcome the symptoms and live a more manageable day-to-day life in moderate or severe cases.

Childhood trauma
Childhood trauma can be caused by psychological and emotional abuse, neglect, bullying, and overprotection. PTSD symptoms may resemble those of childhood trauma (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Anxiety and depression symptoms can arise as a result of childhood abuse, which can be treated with psychotherapy. Getting help after a childhood trauma could be the beginning of a new and better life.

Relationship Issues
In a relationship, we can either bring out the best and worst in each other. Intercultural couples face a variety of difficulties and everyday problems. To fix this you can look for a couple’s counsellor who specialises in this area, there are many things you can work on as a couple, such as improving your communication skills with each other or talking out a problem.

If you have a low income and don’t have insurance, some therapy centres can offer special discounts.

What Are the Common Indications and Symptoms of Mental Health Problems?

It is all too easy to go about our daily lives without noticing signs of physical or mental illness. Our bodies have built-in warning systems that alert us to signs that we should pay attention to.

Here are five signs of mental illness to look out for (note that experiencing them doesn’t automatically mean you suffer from mental illness):

Long-lasting sadness or irritability
A person suffering from major depression experiences intense sadness, worthlessness, hopelessness and helplessness for extended periods of time, far exceeding the normal ups and downs of daily life. Depression is more than just “feeling down” or “having a bad day.” A persistently sad or irritable mood is one of the symptoms.

Extremely high and low moods
A “high” can be a feeling of extreme happiness, while a “low” can be a feeling of depression or deep sadness. Higher highs indicate that you are experiencing even more extreme happiness than usual, while lower lows indicate that you are experiencing even more extreme depression than usual. If you experience extremely high and low moods, it is a good idea to seek help.

Excessive fear, worry, or anxiety
Severe frustration, nervousness, and tension can indicate anxiety. Unlike a phobia which is associated with a specific thing or situation, anxiety is a general feeling of despair or unease that surrounds your entire life.

Social withdrawal
The absence of social relationships with one’s family and friends has the potential to cause significant harm to interpersonal and social relationships on an individual level, as well as to society as a whole.

Dramatic changes in eating or sleeping habits
A sleep-related eating disorder is characterised by frequent episodes of out-of-control eating and drinking behaviours while a sleeping disorder is your inability to sleep as a normal person can. You may be partially or completely unaware of your actions with little or no knowledge of remembering these actions the next morning.

Should You Get Treatment in Thailand Or Return Home?

At international hospitals, counsellors and psychiatrists work according to western standards. They’re also experienced in working with expats, so they’d be familiar with your situations. You can rest assured to get great help in Thailand. However, if you experience long-term, severe mental problems that require in-house help, returning home may be a good idea.

The exceptions are severe and long-term mental illnesses that necessarily require in-house treatment. Returning home may be a better option in these cases both financially and in terms of access to appropriate treatment and support networks. This also includes long-term addiction treatment. You may have to make the journey to get treatment if you live in the country..

People with mental illnesses need the same compassion and care as those with physical illnesses. A mental illness is no different; it is not a disease that can be blamed on someone.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

Mental illness can appear and disappear at any time during your life; some people may only have one attack and then fully recover, whereas others may experience it repeatedly throughout their lives. Among the treatments that can effectively reduce mental illness are listed in the section below:

Counselling and Psychotherapy
They’re referred to as talking therapy and they’ll assist you in voicing out your thoughts, assessing what’s triggering them and finding solutions. Counselling can consist of a series of sessions depending on the nature and severity of the problem. The counsellor’s task is to listen to you and give nonjudgmental and confidential advice. Some counselling companies you can go to in Bangkok are PSI (Psychological Services International) one of the largest and most important counselling centres in Bangkok. Counsellors from all over the world and Thailand are available at PSI. NCS (New Counseling Service) is Bangkok’s oldest counselling centre, they have been in operation for nearly two decades.

Psychiatrists and Medication
Psychiatrists, psychologists, and other health care specialists can be found at Bangkok Hospital, Manarom Hospital and Chulalongkorn Center. Counselling centres such as the centre for psychological wellness at Chulalongkorn University and Bangkok Community Resources, as well as private practitioners, and hospitals with whom they collaborate with.

Addiction recovery
Even in the early stages of recovery from addiction, regular focus is needed. AA (Alcoholics Anonymous) is the most effective way to deal with addictions. Drugs, overeating, gambling and other addictions can also be treated here as well. Anonymous workshops for addicts and ex-addicts are held by AA which also has a volunteer sponsorship program that includes mentorship.

In-house Treatment
Many mild to moderate psychiatric disorders can be treated as you continue to live your life. You should put counselling strategies to the test, fix relationships, and change the situation. When you can no longer work in your daily life, you will need in-home assistance. If your insurance covers it, a few hospitals in Bangkok provide in-house care.

Self-help and Wellness
Thailand has it all, from conventional massage to yoga to self-care classes where treatment for mental disorders. In order to treat depression and anxiety physical activity and mental stimulation are important. Developing partnerships with like-minded individuals and interacting with the outside world will aid in the management of mental illnesses.

Is There Insurance For Mental Health Issues In Thailand?

Psychiatric treatment is not covered by all insurance policies, however, some insurance companies offer mental health insurance, either by default, as an add-on, or as a stand-alone policy. Luma Health is one of the few insurance companies that can pay for your psychiatrist visits in full. Luma also has a strong group and family plan, but there is a 10 month waiting period to be able to use the policy for psychiatric treatment. So it is better if you plan ahead as you’ll be able to see a psychiatrist whenever you want, rather than having to wait.

Other Types of Health Insurance

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