The current pandemic has made it difficult for people around the world to access health care, but doctors of all types are adapting to this change and offering telemedicine appointments for many medical issues, including mental health care. As an online psychiatrist, I offer telepsychiatry appointments and most of my patients have found them to be just as beneficial as in-person appointments.
The last few years have been difficult for all of us, but this is particularly true for people struggling with mental health disorders. Contacting an online psychiatrist can be an excellent way to improve the quality of your life, and there are several compelling reasons to consider telepsychiatry, including:
1. Mental Health Care Is Crucial
So often, we simply ignore our mental health needs. We might go to the doctor for a sore throat or high blood pressure or cancer screenings, but we simply put off dealing with psychiatric issues. In general, I find that people neglect their mental health. Perhaps they feel shame about their issues or perhaps they feel as though they should be strong enough to handle issues on their own.
The truth is psychiatric disorders are not a weakness. They are biological diseases that are often treatable. If you’d go to a doctor for asthma treatment, diabetes treatment or high blood pressure treatment, you also should seek medical help for bipolar disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression and other psychiatric disorders.
When people seek treatment for psychiatric disorders, this isn’t a sign of weakness. This is simply a person who wants to live a better, happier and less stressful life. Don’t we all deserve to live our best lives? I encourage anyone who is suffering from a mental disorder to seek treatment, and an online psychiatrist can help.
2. Telepsychiatry Is Convenient
These days many of us work from home so we truly have shifted to a more mobile society. While some people probably can’t wait to get back into the office, there’s no getting around the fact that working from home and meeting online can be extremely convenient.
There’s no long commute, there are no hassles with traffic, and you don’t even have to wear fancy work clothes most of the time. Additionally, if you want to take off and spend a few days at a mountain cabin or a seaside rental, you can just grab your laptop and go.
The same is true with telepsychiatry. You have far more flexibility meeting with an online psychiatrist. You can meet on vacation or schedule an appointment during work without having to worry about spending extra time away from work driving back and forth from your psychiatrist’s office.
3. Using An Online Psychiatrist Can Be Less Stressful
As a psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks, my patients tend to come from all over Los Angeles and southern Ventura County. While the roads in Ventura County aren’t quite as stressful as an L.A. freeway, driving anywhere in Southern California can be frustrating and stressful.
With telepsychiatry, you can simply relax on your couch or in a comfortable spot in your home and chat with your doctor online. You can wear comfortable clothes, snuggle with your cat, wrap yourself in a blanket and enjoy a cup of tea while we talk over issues. This can make it easier to speak freely and to get to the bottom of issues. You are in a familiar place and able to control your environment.
4. The Level Of Care Remains The Same
Whether we meet in person or remotely, I can provide you with the same level of care. One positive aspect of psychiatry is that we don’t necessarily need to be face-to-face to deal with mental health issues.
Telepsychiatry is approved by the American Psychiatric Association, and there is a growing body of research data that clearly demonstrates that psychiatric treatment via telemedicine can be as effective as when delivered during traditional outpatient appointments.
5. Telepsychiatry Is Private
Privacy is always a huge concern for patients, and it’s just as important as important to your doctor. For our telepsychiatry appointments, we use a HIPAA-approved, secure video conference platform. It’s similar to Skype, but Skype is consumer-grade and not as secure as what we use. Rest assured, that your privacy is just as protected via telemedicine as it is with in-person visits.
How Does Telepsychiatry Work?
When you book an appointment with an online psychiatrist, the process is essentially the same as it would be for an in-person visit. We set up an appointment time and start the process with a thorough psychiatric evaluation.
Keep in mind, a proper evaluation will take several appointments. A psychiatrist should never simply spend a half-hour chatting with you and simply come up with a diagnosis. They might have a good idea of that diagnosis fairly quickly, but in order to truly diagnose which issues are present, your doctor should take some time and be thorough.
As a psychiatrist, I have the unique perspectives of both a medical doctor and mental health professional. In some cases, I might recommend working with your physician to find the best solution to your specific issues as there can be both mental health and physical health issues.
Once we have completed the consultation and diagnosis, we can work on a suitable treatment plan. This usually includes different types of therapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and possibly medication. Medication can be an excellent tool, but it is important for patients to understand that it might take some time to discover the ideal medication and dosage.
What Can An Online Psychiatrist Treat?
In general, many mental health disorders can be treated with telepsychiatry. In my practice, I focus on the following:
Of course, there may be other co-occurring disorders and I will design a treatment plan that helps to address all of the issues you face, even if they aren’t on this list.
No matter what mental health disorders you have, these are biological disorders that usually can be treated. Even if past treatments have not been successful, I know we can find options that improve your quality of life. As an online psychiatrist, I can provide treatment that is both effective and convenient. Please don’t spend another day in pain. Give us a call and let’s set up an online psychiatric consultation.
Dr Jesalva is a psychiatrist. He is in private practice in Thousand Oaks, CA since 1989. He successfully treats very challenging patients with varying co-occurring disorders with medications.