Despite its modern conveniences, instantaneous communication, and amazing technology, the world of today is fraught with difficulty and challenge. On some occasions, people start to develop anxiety, panic, depression, or other mental health concerns. Unfortunately, many of those concerns often go untreated due to a prevalent societal stigma surrounding mental health in the United States.
Depriving yourself of the care you need should never be an option and there’s no shame in speaking with dedicated mental health professional. It’s also becoming much easier, convenient, and more accessible due to the soaring popularity of telemedicine and teletherapy. Teletherapy is but one aspect of the larger framework of telehealth/telemedicine, but it’s a critical one.
Ostensibly a virtual visit with a licensed therapist, teletherapy is a super effective way to seek treatment and get it quick. Here are just a few of the many reasons how it can help you and what teletherapy can do for you.
To begin with, teletherapy and telemedicine are extremely convenient. When you’re dealing with depression, panic, anxiety, phobias, or other issues, sometimes the last thing you want to do is leave the house to speak with a doctor (often located in a different city if you live in a rural location). Then there are the excessive wait times when you’re actually in the therapist’s office. With teletherapy, all you need to do is find the provider you want to use, book an appointment, enter insurance information and vital statistics into the system, and wait for the doctor or therapist to call you. That’s it.
Then, the doctor will consult with you and perform a mental health evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment discussion. When you select an online therapist, you’ll be in a video session with a licensed therapist who can help you treat/cope through comfortable therapy sessions, psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and developing other treatment options. All of this can happen without ever leaving the house, making it a convenient option for just about anyone.
In the past, getting access to mental health care hasn’t always been easy. A significant portion of Americans believes that access to mental health care and services revolving around assisting those experiencing these issues are just not available to as many people as they should be. It is a situation of grave concern to many as more people start to seek treatment for their mental health. Income and location also play a role in the accessibility problem. Rural areas in particular have more restricted access.
Teletherapy provides the golden opportunity for anyone, regardless of location, to access these crucial mental health services without traveling or leaving their home. While you can speak with a therapist remotely, it’s likely you’ll be speaking with a licensed therapist from your states, since many states require them to be licensed in their state in order to practice even in an online capacity. On your end, you’ll need to ensure a stable internet connection and be ready to speak with a therapist about your issues. Most providers will help you find a therapist through a free 10-15 minute consultation where you can find the best therapist for you prior to making a commitment.
One of the concerns that may be keeping you on the fence about seeking help through teletherapy/telemedicine is probably worrying about the quality of the treatment. Well, you can rest easy knowing that the treatment you receive via telemedicine or teletherapy is just as effective as that you would receive in person.
This is especially true when it comes to teletherapy. Per several studies over the past few years (including in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic), online therapy is more effective at treating anxiety, panic, and trauma. For depression and PTSD, cognitive behavioral therapy administered through telemedicine proved just as effective for treating these conditions as physically seeing a therapist at their office. So as it turns out, getting treatment online for mental health concerns is actually just as effective as an in-person visit.
This extends to issues involving depression, anxiety, phobias, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and many more. It does have its limits though. Tell a therapy is not appropriate for treating major conditions like psychosis or schizophrenia.
There are many reasons why people refuse to see a therapist or psychiatrist when they’re experiencing a mental health concern. Sometimes this could be as simple as wanting to discuss it with friends or being worried about something silly like not having enough time.
Another big concern on many people’s minds is the cost. Cost and high medical bills are of significant concern among the population at large. No one wants to be saddled with a massive medical bill. Luckily, teletherapy readily subverts that concern as well. Professional online therapy in Nevada can run as low as $119 per session or $99 per session if you visit weekly. Contrast that with the usual $250 or more costs associated with in-person therapy. Therapy can be affordable for anyone, thanks to teletherapy and modern technology.
The entire purpose of speaking with a therapist is to help you work through your issues/concerns and find a path forward from whatever is troubling you. This can be accomplished via various methods such as psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, gestalt psychology, Dialectical Behavior therapy (aka mindfulness), and many other tried and true therapy methods.
There are times, however, when you may need a prescription for antidepressants to help treat depression or other persistent issues. In these situations, a psychiatrist (not a therapist) or doctor can prescribe medication such as antidepressants. If your therapist believes this should be an option, they might put you in touch with the doctor to seek additional treatment.
When you speak with the doctor, the doctor will perform a mental health evaluation, discuss your current treatments/therapy with you, talk with you to help both of you decide if antidepressants are the right course of action, and eventually prescribe the medication if needed. Then, you can pick it up at a local pharmacy. Medication is not always necessary and a good therapist will do everything they can to help you work through an issue before recommending you speak with a psychiatrist or doctor to seek a prescription.
Having completed my Bachelor’s degree in medicine and currently pursuing a house job at a well reputed hospital in California, I decided to utilize my spare time in sharing knowledge with others through my blog. Apart from my time spent in the medical field, I love to read fiction novels and go on long drives.