Maintaining Mental Health As A Digital Nomad

You probably noticed I didn’t write on the weekend as I always do. I was debating internally if I wanted to write about this subject. If I wanted to be so vulnerable to strangers. My closest friends have seen me at my worst and at my best. It’s a subject that should come up more in our community.

How do we maintain mental health while on the road? It’s not easy switching countries all the time, learning a new language and customs while being far away from loved ones.

Luckily for me, I’ve never felt the need to “return home” to Chicago. There’s nothing for me there. My “loved one” doesn’t give a damn about me and it took years of therapy and lifelong friends to make me realize it’s okay.

While the majority of nomads I’ve met are doing awesome things and living awesome lives…There are also those drowning themselves in debauchery. In my earlier nomadic years, I joined them for drug and booze sessions and we’d open up about our shitty famillies, crap jobs and general dislike of our lives while in some villa on Ibiza or along the Mexican coast.

But the people “back home” were jealous of us. To them, we had it all together because our social media showed what a glamourous life we were living. It was a lie. Our self-hatred followed us to every country.

I knew the reasons behind my self-destructive behavior, but many were in denial. It took all the strength I had to admit I needed help. In my pursuit of a therapist, I ran across a liability issue which still exists today.

Are you aware of the laws governing therapy in your country? Technically, it’s illegal for a licensed U.S. therapist to treat you unless you live in the same state! Your therapist, technically, must be licensed in that state or country to be 100% legal. Don’t get too scared yet. The reason for this is in case you’re suicidal and something happens to you. That therapist could be held liable.

Teletherapy is still relatively new. I feel most therapists don’t know how to handle us and the rules are not entirely clear with the APA (American Psychological Association). You could build a skyscraper with all the grey matter.

If you seek therapy online and are constantly changing locations; I’d highly advise making sure you enter into an agreement that is comfortable for both of you. Understand if a therapist (especially a U.S. based one) chooses to treat you, that person is putting their practice at risk.

What’s the best way around this? You may seek a counselor or coach depending on what needs you have. They usually have more leeway to practice internationally since they’re not board-certified psychologists.

Of course, you’re welcome to seek out a therapist in Hanoi or Abu Dhabi or whatever city you’re in, but that person may not understand your perspective. I don’t think a Vietnamese male therapist will understand my issues as a woman of color from the USA.

I’m curious to know if any of you have tried seeking therapy with someone from a culture radically different from yours. How did it go?

Here are some resources to help you….wherever you are. Since I’m from the USA this list will mainly include U.S.-based teletherapy. *Please understand I receive no money for sharing these resources. I’ve used Therapy for Black Girls & Betterhelp only. It is your responsibility to do the research and find which path works for you.

Best Online Therapy Services

Online Counseling Podcast

Therapy for Black Girls

Betterhelp

Best Online Therapy: Top 7 Virtual Counseling Services of 2021

Bangkok Counselling Services

Online Therapy for Women

Therapy Route

South Asian Therapists

LGBTQ Online Therapy

Till next time…Be kind to one another.

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