As a psychiatrist in Thousand Oaks, I meet, in person, with patients throughout Los Angeles and Ventura County. However, if you need to find a psychiatrist, you don’t necessarily have to opt for that “psychiatrist near me.” Telepsychiatry can be another option to consider.
What Is Telepsychiatry?
With telepsychiatry, you simply meet using your phone, tablet or computer using a secure connection. A virtual psychiatrist will have the same training as an in-person psychiatrist. Both types of psychiatrists are medical doctors as well as mental health professionals, which means they can prescribe medications as well as diagnose many mental health conditions and create a treatment plan.
Advantages Of Telepsychiatry
These days, more and more medical visits are being handled either by phone or video visits. This, of course, became more common during the pandemic, but it’s likely to continue for several reasons, including:
1. Convenience & Flexibility
With telepsychiatry, you can meet with your doctor in the comfort of your own home or anywhere you have an internet connection. Even if you are on vacation or away for business or another reason, you can still receive quality care from your psychiatrist.
2. Easier Access To Care
For patients with disabilities or mobility issues, telepsychiatry can be a much easier option than in-person visits. There’s no need to arrange transportation or deal with the typical hassles of finding parking spaces, navigating through medical buildings, etc.
Additionally, for patients with anxiety, being able to receive care at home can reduce the stress related to driving in traffic. For patients with depression that might have a tough time getting out of the house to receive care, meeting with an online psychiatrist can be a great option to consider.
4. Reduced Costs
Let’s face it, these days, gasoline prices are exorbitant and if you can avoid driving back and forth from the psychiatrist’s office, you can save a decent amount of money. Likewise, telepsychiatry may eliminate the need to pay for childcare expenses. However, it can be wise to have someone watch your children during a session so that you can focus entirely on the doctor's visit. Still, without having to drive, you can reduce child-care expenses, which is always a positive.
5. Save Time
Our time is precious, and spending it driving to and from appointments can be difficult. You could save an hour or more of your time by simply meeting with your psychiatrist virtually. Additionally, wait times are reduced, as well, because no one is ever late to an appointment due to traffic or other issues. Telepsychiatry can streamline the entire doctor visit process, saving both you and your psychiatrist some much-needed time.
6. Reduce The Stigma
Too often people avoid getting mental health care because they are ashamed of asking for help or ashamed of their condition. Let’s be clear – mental illness is not a weakness, it’s simply a medical condition that usually can be treated. Still, I know that many people are reluctant to seek help or feel as though asking for psychiatric services makes them “weak.”
While this isn’t true at all, that’s the stigma and while we are beginning to break through that stigma, it is still there for some patients. Being able to meet in the privacy of your home can feel like an easier, safer option. You won’t risk being seen by friends or co-workers leaving the doctor’s office, etc. If this level of privacy pushes you toward seeking help, then by all means, opt for telepsychiatry and telepsychology services. We can help you reduce your symptoms and live a happier, healthier life.
Advantages of Using A Psychiatrist “Near Me”
Of course, not everyone prefers to meet online with their psychiatrist or therapist, and that’s perfectly fine. I am always happy to meet in person with my patients, and some people truly need that one-on-one, face-to-face connection rather than a video visit.
In some cases, such as with severe disorders such as schizophrenia, it can be better to meet in person as these individuals can be at higher risk of self-harm and suicide. Of course, there are certain types of therapy, such as EMDR and ketamine treatments that must be handled in person.
We also can opt for a hybrid approach, where we meet in person initially and eventually move toward virtual visits once a treatment plan is in place. With my practice, I try to be as flexible as possible to meet the needs of a diverse group of patients. Every person is unique, so it’s important to curate a situation that is best for the individual.
How To Find A Psychiatrist
With virtual psychiatry, you can move beyond your immediate locality and search for professionals that seem to be a good match for your personality and your mental health needs. In some cases, you might need to find doctors that fit within your insurance plan, but, if possible, it can be good to extend your search to private practices as well, to find a good fit for your unique needs.
I recommend looking at everything from the doctor’s philosophy to searching for reviews and asking for recommendations from other physicians that you trust. Additionally, you will want to select a psychiatrist who specializes in helping patients with your specific mental health issues.
In my practice, I offer services as a bipolar disorder psychiatrist, an ADHD psychiatrist, and a psychiatrist for anxiety and depression. Additionally, I can help treat patients with substance use disorders as well as treat people with co-occurring disorders, which is extremely common.
My goal is to spend time truly getting to know a patient and understanding their issues and symptoms. This helps me create a thorough diagnosis that addresses all of the issues a patient is facing. As both a medical doctor and mental health professional, I can assess whether or not any physical conditions are impacting your mental health and I can help with medication management.
Of course, it is also important to seek the services of a psychologist or therapist. These professionals cannot prescribe medications, but they do provide talk therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and other types of therapy that can improve your life significantly. Medication can be extremely helpful, but we achieve the best, long-term results with an approach that also includes therapy.
Call Dr. Jesalva Today
Whether you want to find a psychiatrist “near me” or you would like to try telepsychiatry, I am always here to help. Don’t suffer another day with mental health conditions. Treatment can be effective, and you deserve to live a happier, healthier life. It might take us some time to achieve these goals, but we will get there together.
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.