Reasons Your Doctor May Refer You For An Intensive Outpatient Program

When you experience a mental health crisis, you may need to undergo more than just talk therapy. You may need more in-depth treatment to help you overcome your symptoms and regain some semblance of a normal life.

However, your mental health may not warrant an inpatient stay in the hospital or mental health clinic. Instead, your doctor might refer you to an intensive outpatient program that can provide the care you need.

Managing Anxiety

One of the main conditions that might merit participation in an intensive outpatient program is severe anxiety. When your anxiety is so crippling that it prevents you from leaving your home, working, or carrying out a normal routine, it might require the treatment that is offered in an intensive outpatient program.

While you are in this program, you may learn coping mechanisms that can help you manage your anxiety effectively. Your therapists in the program might teach you how to meditate to keep your mind calm. You also may be encouraged to use distractions like listening to music to make it easier to go out in public. You may progressively work toward managing your own anxiety so you can get back to living somewhat normally.

Overcoming Agoraphobia

The treatment you receive in an intensive outpatient program may also help you overcome severe agoraphobia. You might struggle with leaving the house and going out in public. You might feel overwhelmed like you just want to stay at home and in bed all day.

However, you may learn techniques in your intensive outpatient program to minimize or eliminate feelings of agoraphobia. Your therapists might teach you to use sensations, such as coldness from holding ice, to distract your mind and force your attention elsewhere. You also may learn to use paced breathing to keep calm and stay in the moment so you avoid feeling overwhelmed or scared when you leave your home.

Improving Depression

Finally, an intensive outpatient program can be effective for improving depression symptoms. You may learn how to count what you are grateful for in your everyday life to lift your mood. You may also engage in activities like arts and crafts to help you feel like you have accomplished something meaningful and productive.

An intensive outpatient program can benefit you when you suffer a mental health crisis. It can help you learn coping mechanisms for anxiety and agoraphobia. It can also help you improve symptoms of depression so you can resume your normal daily routine. 

For more information, look into an intensive outpatient program.