In the digital age, you can do almost any activity online. Want to buy a kitchen chair? You can order one and have it appear at your doorstep in 24 hours. Do you want to connect with a childhood friend who lives overseas? Video messaging software can make that happen for you.
When thinking about mental health, one perk of living in the digital age is that you can invest in your mental health care in the familiar environment of your own home. Online psychiatrist visits can help you reach your therapeutic goals more comfortably than ever.
What Is Psychiatry?
A psychiatrist or psychiatric provider is a highly trained mental health professional who promotes mental well-being after evaluating your current symptoms. Their scope of practice includes the ability to diagnose mood disorders, as well. This kind of provider typically prescribes medicine in addition to talk therapy, but they’ll tailor your treatment plan to fit your overall needs.
If you’re not sure about whether seeing a psychiatric provider is right for you, it can help to learn the difference between a psychiatrist and other mental health professionals like psychologists, therapists, and psychiatrists.
Psychiatrists Have Specialized Education and Training
Not just anyone can provide you with psychiatric care. Your psychiatric provider has completed medical school or an advanced nursing degree and passed a state examination to gain licensure. After medical school and licensure, your psychiatrist spends three additional years as a resident to gain training in the field before practicing independently.
After residency, most will take an oral and written examination to become a board-certified psychiatrist by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.
Psychiatrists Diagnose and Prescribe Medications
Just like your primary care doctor can provide diagnoses and prescribe medicine, a psychiatrist can evaluate your mental health to determine if the medication can support your mental well-being.
When you visit a psychiatrist, they’re able to determine whether medicine can promote healing for your body’s unique challenges. They may also suggest actionable steps you can take to promote well-being in your diet, activity level, and hygiene.
Can Psychiatrists Conduct Their Practice Virtually?
Thanks to modern technology, you can see a psychiatric provider virtually as long as you have an internet connection.
Many therapeutic care providers are offering telehealth visits. It’s a new frontier in mental health care, but it’s already helped many access care who might have otherwise tried to manage their symptoms in isolation. Online psychiatry works the same way as a face-to-face visit, using a convenient webcam connection.
What to Look For in Virtual Psychiatric Care
As we mentioned, online mental health care is a new world for many. We have a few tips you can keep in mind to ensure you’ve found quality online mental health care.
No Hidden Fees: Unfortunately, some online services that claim to serve your mental health may hide their fees in the fine print. Look for a therapeutic care provider with transparent prices.
Accessible Medication: It can be difficult to find a psychiatrist or to figure out whether your insurance covers their services and the medication they prescribe.
When you choose a care provider, keep in mind your experience as a client. Being able to get the medicine you need in a timely fashion without extra hassle is crucial.
Affordable Care: Some providers are more costly than others. Those who don’t have access to premium insurance with mental health coverage may find psychiatric visits expensive. Some psychiatric appointments can cost around $300 per hour. With that in mind, it’s a good idea to prioritize quality care at an affordable price if it’s possible.
Stress-Free Scheduling: We think stress-free scheduling is one factor to prioritize when you’re searching for a reliable, easy-to-manage psychiatric care experience. Make sure you find a healthcare provider with office hours and appointment times that are available when you need them, and find a provider with an easy scheduling system that suits your preferences.
How to Know When It’s Time to See a Psychiatrist
We’ve talked about psychiatry and what you should prioritize while you seek care, but mental health isn’t black and white. It’s not always easy to know when you should seek therapeutic help, so we’ve gathered this list of a few common symptoms.
Let’s take a look at six signs that it may be time to consider seeking professional help.
1. You’ve Been Feeling Abnormally Anxious
Now and then, stressors can impact our lives and cause us to feel moments of worry or panic. If you’ve noticed that you’re excessively anxious recently, that ordinarily familiar and comfortable settings have become overly stressful over the past few months, or that your anxiety no longer feels normal, it may be time to seek help.
We’ve been there, and we know how difficult it can be to reach out for care amid periods of distress. Still, this kind of experience is an indicator that mental health treatment might serve you.
2. You’re Feeling Increasingly Moody
Sometimes, things are just out of whack. If you have noticed a deviation from your typical temperament toward unstable moods, it may be time to check things out with a psychiatrist.
3. Your Sleeping and Eating Habits Changed
How’s your sleep schedule? Have you noticed that you wake up more frequently throughout the night? On average, adults need six to eight hours of uninterrupted, quality sleep each night.
If you notice that you’re having trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, a psychiatrist can help you understand what might be triggering this restlessness and what treatment plan may help you find relief.
4. You’re Unable to Function In Your Work and School Life
We know some work projects are extra-difficult. School assignments can be challenging, too. Still, one sign that you may need to seek help is if you’ve noticed a change in your usual work habits.
If you find yourself more distracted than usual or unable to focus during meetings, you should see if anything else impacts you. Combined with other signs, this pattern may indicate that it’s time to pay a visit to a psychiatrist.
5. You’ve Noticed Physical Signs of Anxiety
Anxiety can show up in multiple forms. Anxiety can go beyond your typical feelings of worry or nervousness and show physical symptoms.
You may start to feel shortness of breath more often or even experience regular periods of unexpected dizziness. Physical symptoms like these are indicators that you may benefit from psychiatric care.
6. You’re Experiencing Long Periods of Hopelessness
You shouldn’t have to put up with long-term thoughts of hopelessness. You deserve to feel that life is colorful and hopeful. If you often feel like your life is pointless and will never get better, it’s time to reach out for help.
Before we move on, it’s important to note that these symptoms aren’t comprehensive. Still, they’re a few common signs that you should seek therapeutic psychiatric care. It’s the best self-care choice you can make.
Mood Health’s Psychiatry Subscription Makes the First Visit Easy
At Mood Health, we were frustrated with traditional and online therapeutic care options. We wanted a better way, so we made one. Through Mood Health, you can access virtual mental health care done the right way, starting at just $45 for your first month’s subscription. Let’s walk through what Mood Health will look like for you.
Fill Out a Quiz: Let us get to know your current therapeutic needs to get you the care that suits you best.
Meet Your Provider Virtually: Once we determine your needs, you’ll meet with a psychiatric care provider or licensed therapist. They’ll take time and care to learn your story and develop a treatment plan that works for you.
Begin Your Care: If your psychiatric care provider prescribes medicine as part of your treatment, those prescriptions will arrive at your door soon. Follow your treatment plan for optimal results.
Track Your Progress: You can examine your treatment history on your account with Mood Health. As you observe the steps you’ve accomplished, be proud of yourself. The road to mental health is often non-linear, and you have every reason to celebrate each step toward mental wellness.
Here’s How You Can Feel More Prepared for Your First Appointment
There are a few ways you can prepare for your first psychiatric appointment and get the most out of your mental health care. Knowing your family’s medical history and being ready to participate in treatment will make your first online visit a breeze.
Have Your Family’s Medical History on Hand
Your provider will likely ask you about your family’s mental health history. It’s a great idea to find information from your caregivers beforehand to determine if your relatives had any history of mood disorders. This step can give your provider a better foundation for diagnosis and treatment.
Be Ready for Your Provider to Ask a Few Questions
Rather than putting up a wall with your therapeutic provider, remember that they care. As they ask you questions concerning your mental health, honesty is the best policy and the quickest route to feeling better.
Come Ready to Participate in Your Treatment Plan
At Mood, we’re on your team through your mental health journey. With that said, your treatment will give you the best results when you do your part. Following your treatment plan is a terrific way to show up for yourself in a manageable, long-lasting way.
Don’t Be Discouraged if Your First Appointment Doesn’t Solve Everything
After your appointment, you may remember things you wish you had said or feel that your clinician didn’t understand you. Understand that your therapeutic relationship may take more than one session to build. If you think that your Mood Health provider isn’t a great fit, we’ll help set you up with a better match.
One Last Note
At Mood, we’re rooting for you. Seeing a psychiatric provider and beginning a personalized treatment plan are steps worth celebrating.
After you’ve chosen to seek mental health care with Mood, you can take a deep breath. Our virtual psychiatry subscription and talk therapy sessions are easy to schedule. Mood has made it easy to start your journey to feeling mentally whole and healthy.
Should You See a Psychiatrist? | PFBH Assessment Center
What Is Psychiatry? | Psychiatry.org
Next Next 5 Ways to Prepare for an Online Psychiatrist Appointment | NowPsych