Understanding Online Psychiatry
With the combination of advancing technology and the pandemic, we’ve seen a considerable increase in the number of businesses going online. These days you can do almost anything online, from going to school to shopping for new clothes. One of the many examples of this online trend has been the development of online psychiatry services.
As with many other new technological developments, many people are skeptical of online psychiatry providers. When we’re used to something only happening in person, it can seem strange and even wrong to see it online. This article will break down some of what online psychiatrists do, how the process works, and things to watch out for.
Table of Contents
What is psychiatry?
Psychiatry is a specialty of medicine dedicated to diagnosing, preventing, and treating mental disorders. Psychiatrists are medical doctors, holding MD or DO qualifications, who specialize in mental health. Their qualifications differentiate them from other mental health professionals, such as psychologists, therapists, and counselors. While all of these professionals can help with mental health issues, a psychiatrist is the only professional that can prescribe mental health medication.
People often see psychiatrists in combination with other medical and mental health professionals. A therapist might indicate to somebody that medication could be helpful for them as they address mental health issues, leading them to see a psychiatrist as well. Multiple types of mental health support often work together in a treatment plan, addressing the complexities of mental health issues and recovery.
Why online psychiatry?
An online psychiatrist does the same thing as an in-person psychiatrist, except they conduct all visits and provide prescriptions over the internet. Many people have become more familiar with telehealth in various medical fields during the pandemic, leading to increased comfort in receiving medical treatment and information online.
Online psychiatry can have several different benefits, especially when it comes to accessibility. Online services are often easier to access than in-person ones. This is especially true for people who live far from medical facilities, have disabilities that make travel difficult, or have hectic schedules. Online services may also be cheaper, making them more financially accessible as well. Finally, online services are generally more available than others, offering features such as 24/7 chat help that can help patients get the help they need when they need it.
Understanding Mental Health Medication
Whether you see a psychiatrist online or in person, it’s crucial to understand how mental health medication works. Our society is full of myths and misconceptions about mental health medication that can lead people to have unrealistic expectations or create a stigma and shame around these medications.
Mental health medications treat various chemical imbalances in the brain and other areas of the body related to mental health disorders. Due to the extreme complexity of the brain, we do not understand exactly how a medication may affect each person and mental illness differently. This can make the process of finding the right medication can be long and complex. Medication can also have serious side effects, so it’s essential to do your research, consult professionals, and pay attention to your mind and body when using it.
Things to Watch Out For
It’s natural to feel apprehension about new medical technology and mental health medication. New technologies and medications do have their risks, so it’s important to be an informed consumer. If you’re concerned about using online psychiatry services, here are a couple of things to pay attention to.
- Do your research on the service. By looking at the service, information from third-party sources, reviews, and the credentials of the service providers, you can make sure the service you’re using is reputable and trustworthy.
- Investigate the medications. If your psychiatrist suggests a certain medication to you, make sure you get enough information to make a decision. Ask your psychiatrist any questions you have, and do your own research on what the medication does and its effects.
- Listen to your body. At the end of the day, no doctor, no matter how qualified, knows everything. If you feel uneasy about taking a particular medication or are uncomfortable about the effects you are experiencing, seek help. If you’re not getting the information or understanding you need from your psychiatrist, it may be helpful to seek out other psychiatrists and professionals who can help you understand what is happening.
Recovery is Possible
If you are experiencing a mental disorder, your situation can seem overwhelming. While recovery is not always a smooth process, it’s important to remember that it is possible. Make use of the resources that are available to you, and don’t be afraid to ask for help from your support system when facing unexpected challenges.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.