Mental health issues can be a horrifying thing to deal with, but you don’t have to go through them alone. The most important aspect of therapy is finding the right therapist for you. Most people find this person in their community, but more and more people are turning to online therapy as an alternative to traditional face-to-face sessions.
The good news is that many people have turned to online therapists to get help with anxiety and depression and are happy they did.
Basic things to know about online therapy
Online therapy is not necessarily less effective than in-person counselling. There are many treatment approaches, and it is not uncommon for people to find that their preferred method can be found either online or in person.
The cost of therapy varies depending on the service provider. You can expect to pay anywhere between $40 and $100 per month for online treatment. If you do not have health insurance, this may be an option.
If a licensed therapist provides mental health services via video chat or instant messaging, your insurance may pay. Insurance companies vary in how they handle reimbursement for online mental health services. You may want to contact your insurance company before seeking treatment to ensure coverage. Some therapists offer free initial sessions as a way to introduce you to the virtual environment and help you determine if this approach is right for your needs.
When you begin working with a therapist on an online platform, you’ll register with their service and complete a profile describing your concerns and goals for therapy. Your therapist will then take it from there.
Mental Health Issues That Online Therapists Can Help With
Treatment of mental health issues is no different than therapy for other conditions. Some of the most common mental health issues that online therapists treat include:
Studies show that 31.1 percent of adults experience anxiety disorders at some point in their life. The most common anxiety disorders include generalised anxiety disorder (GAD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), panic disorder, and social anxiety disorder. These cause anguish, but they also affect physical health.
People who suffer from anxiety disorders often struggle to make decisions and keep their lives together. Not only does this result in a miserable existence, but it can also affect relationships and job performance. With the help of an online therapist, you can get the support that you need to overcome your anxiety issues once and for all.
Bipolar disorder (also known as manic depression) is a treatable mental health condition that affects men, women, and children. Dramatic mood swings and unusual behavior characterize it.
The National Comorbidity Survey Replication reports that bipolar disorder has affected approximately 2.8% of American adults in the past year. The median age of onset is 25 years old, but the illness can develop later in life.
Patients may experience episodes of mania, hypomania, or mixed episodes that involve both symptoms of mania and depression at the same time. These behaviors are not typical, but they do not last long — usually just days or weeks. During these times, patients often have trouble functioning normally in their daily lives because they cannot control their behavior or emotions.
Treatment for bipolar disorder includes medications and psychotherapy (talk therapy). Combining these two treatment methods can help people manage their symptoms with less frequent mood swings between depression and mania.
Depression is defined as a mental state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person’s thoughts, behavior, feelings, and sense of well-being. A clinical depression diagnosis occurs when depressed moods interfere with your daily life for weeks or longer.
Treatment for depression depends on your symptoms, how long you have been depressed, and your response to previous therapy. Treatment may include medication, psychotherapy, or both. If you have mild depression, you may manage it with self-care steps and lifestyle changes. If you have severe depression or therapy and medication haven’t helped, you may need more specialized help from an online therapist.
The Bottom Line – Does therapy work?
Although online therapy is still in its early days, it’s safe to say it works. It has proven to be a viable resource for even the most persistent and resistant patients. The key is to make sure that you take the time to find an online therapist who treats patients with your specific condition in mind.
When you do, you could find that online therapy ends up saving you time and money—and more importantly, it could save your life.