The world can be a frightening place sometimes. Countless factors throughout our lives can cause us to feel down, sad, anxious, and depressed. Sometimes a chemical imbalance or life event can lead to depression. Thankfully, treating depression is becoming easier and more accessible due to the emergence of telemedicine and telehealth. Telemedicine and telehealth represent the future of making medical care more accessible to more people using technology. By working with a doctor remotely to diagnose and treat medical concerns, you can receive great quality, professional care from the comfort of your own home. When it comes to treating mental health issues, a mix of seeing a virtual doctor (for medication and diagnosis) and a teletherapist (to help work through treatment) can be useful for combating depression. Here’s a quick guide to using telemedicine to help treat your depression.
Teletherapy and telemedicine/telehealth work in tandem with one another to help provide a quick, convenient, and accessible means of getting treatment for various conditions remotely. Where telemedicine puts patients in touch with a licensed, board certified doctor, using teletherapy puts them in touch with a licensed therapist for a live therapy session. Teletherapy will only involve treating mental health and mental health concerns. Contrarily, telemedicine can be used for anything from diagnosing a sinus infection to seeking treatment for chronic conditions.
Setting A Virtual Appointment
Setting a virtual appointment for a therapy session or a physician consultation is incredibly simple. All you need to do is research telemedicine providers, select one, and head on over to their website/patient portal. Then, you’ll select a licensed, board certified doctor from their list and book an appointment. You may be required to input information about your condition, along with any concerns you may have that you wish to have the doctor address during the consultation. After the initial booking of the appointment, the doctor will typically contact you within 15 minutes and begin the consultation.
Understanding Insurance Coverage
Insurance is tricky even on the best of days. While the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly altered the way many providers handle coverage, it’s still an important part of using telemedicine. Much like visiting a primary care physician or hospital in person, your insurance is an integral part of the telemedicine experience. In general, the main five providers (Aetna, United healthcare, Blue Cross Blue shield, Humana, and Cigna) all cover telemedicine in some form. Private health insurances and HMOs vary wildly, so you’ll need to check with your own provider to see what they will and what they won’t cover. Telemedicine providers typically take most insurances and in the absence of insurance can offer their services at significantly lower costs than visiting a doctor in person. Insurance covers any medicine the doctor prescribes the same way it would with any other prescription.
Consulting With A Teletherapist Or Online Doctor
So how does the actual session with a doctor or therapist go online? Well, to begin with, you can have the consultation via a traditional phone call or through a video chat. The software used for video chatting and phone calls by the provider is HIPAA compliant, ensuring your privacy and patient confidentiality throughout the appointment. Through a live video or phone call, you can speak with a therapist and work through your mental health concerns. Online therapists often use cognitive behavioral therapy, which has proven useful in treating depression, panic, and anxiety. When consulting with a doctor online, they’ll perform a mental health evaluation, discuss their diagnosis and treatment with you, and work with you to determine if prescribing one of the various types of anti depression medication useful for treating depression and anxiety. Remember that the therapist can’t prescribe antidepressants, but a doctor can, so having a consultation/evaluation with the doctor first is essential if medication is required.
Types of Medication Typically Prescribed
In order to get a prescription online for antidepressants, you need to consult with a doctor or psychiatrist. Doctors are able to prescribe antidepressants via telemedicine after a mental health evaluation, consultation, and diagnosis. And here’s some good news: a licensed doctor can provide an antidepressant prescription via a telemedicine visit. Antidepressants from all of the different categories can be prescribed by an online doctor depending on a number of factors. Popular medications like Zoloft, Prozac, Lexapro, Cymbalta, Strattera, and Paxil are some of the more common antidepressants doctors prescribe for depression and anxiety. Using telemedicine to get the help you need is one of the best ways to take care of yourself with ease.