When you have anxiety, even the simplest of tasks can seem monumental. You may know when it is time to seek help but it can become more difficult if you are experiencing symptoms. Telehealth can be a great way to break through stressful barriers and help you find treatment quickly, while in the comfort of your own home.
How Telehealth Breaks Down Barriers
For those who have never sought treatment for their anxiety, telehealth can be a great starting point and a great way to ease into in-person appointments.
Anxiety is the most common mental health disorder and, left untreated, can have a significant impact on the lives of those who deal with it. Roughly 3% of the adult population suffers from generalized anxiety disorder—many of those same people will not seek treatment because of stressful barriers.
Here are a few ways telehealth therapy can help patients who experience anxiety move past barriers in order to get treatment where and when they need it.
- Eases the initial uncertainty that comes from talking to a therapist for the first time.
- Eliminates stressful obstacles like traffic, parking, and crowded waiting rooms.
- Provides options for those in rural areas who may not have access to mental healthcare.
Telehealth Therapy: An Effective Option
While the practice of telehealth is still relatively new and has recently peaked in popularity due to COVID-19 and the subsequent stay-at-home orders, researchers have been studying its benefits for a few years. In 2017, Researchers from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded Reduce Limitations from Anxiety (RELAX) found telehealth to be effective in treating patients with panic and anxiety disorders.
The study used mainly telephone-delivered care and focused on 329 total participants, 250 were classified as “highly anxious” and further split into one group that received the telehealth service or visited their primary care physicians. After 12 months, researchers concluded that the telehealth services were more effective in treating anxiety than visiting the physician. Of the telehealth patients, 53% experienced reduced anxiety symptoms compared to 32% of patients in the control group.
This is not to say that office visits are ineffective, but shows that, for many with anxiety, the ability to receive treatment without leaving a place of comfort can be beneficial.
How Telehealth Helps Anxiety
For those that feel stress at the thought of leaving their homes and entering into an unfamiliar environment, virtual counseling can help them feel less isolated. If getting to a therapist’s office presents a challenge, telehealth is a great way to meet that challenge head-on. Through virtual counseling, therapists can help clients set goals, learn coping skills, and create healthy routines.
The idea that you can pick up your phone or go to your computer when you need to talk to someone can be comforting. This comfort can act as a treatment in and of itself. Patients in familiar surroundings are also more willing to open up and are therefore more welcoming to treatment. The time flexibility also reduces the level of stress that comes with trying to book appointments.
Therapy Today is now offering telehealth options using a HIPAA compliant and secure platform. If you’d like to book a telehealth appointment, reach out today. Same-day appointments are available.