Mental Health Issues Are on the Rise – Could Online Help from a Distance be the Solution?

When the first medical drug to treat depression was introduced in the mid-20th century, medical doctors did not think it was required as severe depression was extremely rare in those days. Just fifty years ago, depression was classified as an orphan disease, and now the majority of adults may have some episodes of depression during life.

Severe mental health conditions that require treatment in the hospital like advanced schizophrenia are still uncommon. However, One-fifth of adults is living with less severe, but debilitating psychological problems like anxiety, depression, emotional disorders, personality disorders, and much more.
Regretfully, due to the stigma attached to mental health issues, people are not seeking the attention of mental health providers. Even worse, many of them are not even aware of their mental health problems.
This sudden rise in mental health problems could be a result of a combination of reasons like lifestyle changes, poor quality of sleep, sedentary lifestyle, less socialization, and much more.
This phenomenal rise in mental health problems requires an innovative approach to care. So, could help from a distance be a solution?

Online Psychiatry (Telepsychiatry) has many benefits over conventional channels of providing care.

Telepsychiatry may help detect and overcome mental health issues early

The most significant benefit of telepsychiatry is its convenience, availability on demand, non-necessity to visit a clinic, and higher privacy along with affordability.
A person can seek help without visiting a specialized clinic, as not everyone is comfortable going to mental clinics with their problems. One can seek advice when and as required, early help is frequently related to better outcomes.Better continuity of care, as most mental conditions are chronic, meaning that care is needed for several months or even years in many cases.No transportation barriers or need to take time off from work.
The minimal barrier of stigma.
Though older adults may feel less inconvenience in visiting the clinic, for younger adults sharing their thoughts and emotions through online platforms is much more comfortable, they feel less reluctant, which improves the chances of the right diagnosis. Telepsychiatry enhances the feeling of privacy, security, and safety.

Does telepsychiatry work?

Yes, it does. A telepsychiatric appointment is nearly identical to an in-person psychiatric visit and allows for a more accessible mental health delivery. Research shows therapy is recommended in mild to moderate anxiety and depression, and a combination of therapy and psychiatric medication in moderate to severe cases. Telepsychiatry allows for a person to be evaluated and prescribed appropriate pharmacological interventions.

Telepsychiatry has been tested in various medical conditions and seems to work very well. It is especially suitable for the treatment of depression, anxiety, PTSD, ADHD.

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