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Health

 Is Online therapy effective for treating depression?

Depression, apart from making a person sad and moody for extended periods of time, can turn into a severe illness that can have a drastic impact on your mental and physical health.

While an increasing number of people are resorting to online counseling to help manage their depression, it is very important to know if this method of treatment is right for you as the symptoms of depression vary from person to person.

Symptoms may include irritability, persistent anger, and a feeling of being on the edge all the time. This could lead to difficulty in concentrating and a struggle to attend work and take care of family responsibilities.

Depression is treatable online

Despite its limitations, online counseling is gradually becoming the first choice of patients as compared to face-to-face therapy. Below are a few advantages of online consultation:

Location – Undergoing online counseling from the comfort of your home is one of its main plus points as driving to a clinic can be a major challenge for some.

Affordability – Much more affordable than traditional therapy as you can attend sessions sitting at home.

Convenience – All you need is a device with an internet connection to get connected to your therapist from anywhere and at any time.

Availability – You can incorporate counseling at lunch breaks or whenever free. Additionally, you have more options and duration with the therapist.

Security – Strict ethical client confidentiality procedures are followed to secure all personal data.

Some other benefits you can add to this electronic form of therapy are that it is practicable for those who suffer from agoraphobia and will not leave home/feel paranoid in working face to face with a therapist/ at a distance from any kind of medical facility/ have serious disabilities.

Types of therapies for depression

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy: This is a short-term therapy that focuses on the treatment of an individual by judging the changing behavioral patterns that lead to depression. Treatment usually involves completing a range of online exercises over a couple of months.
  • Interpersonal counseling: By honing the communication skills of the client, interpersonal counseling helps the patient to recover.
  • Social skills therapy: This treatment helps in building healthy relationships and eliminating sources of communication that influence depression.
  • Psychodynamic therapy: This therapy works by helping patients with their emotional and unhealed wounds received in the past. The aim is to make the client realize that their depression is linked to these past conflicts, and how to address these issues in a productive manner.
  • Families and Couples therapy:  This therapy is meted out when depression takes over members of the household by focusing on interpersonal relationships. The roles played by various family members influencing depression in another member are studied.

Treatment for severe cases

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), a UK organization that produces guidelines from time to time on the best modes of health care, advocates that CBT is of great help in depression and anxiety.

(However, NICE does not recommend CBT in severe cases and suggests more intensive treatment and support).

Apps

Therapy for depression is carried out by specific non-invasive treatments. There are a number of smartphone-based apps in the market that can be used to expand access to the treatment of anxiety and depression.

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) classifies these apps in six categories based on functions like cognition improvement, self-management, social support, symptom tracking, skills training, and passive data collection.

Mobile apps that adopt CBT and mindfulness training to treat symptoms of depression and anxiety are gaining momentum. It was found that anxiety focused mobile apps, when compared with the internet or even face-to-face therapies delivered the best reduction in these symptoms.

online-therapy.com is considered by industry experts as the best for CBT treatments, superficially with issues relating to depression and anxiety. If you are not sure where to start, this is most likely a great place to look at first.

Limitations of online therapy

It is being observed that differences between online therapy and in-face counseling are not that significant. When you work with a new therapist, you may face issues, initially, in building trust and rapport.

In some cases, people are worried about coming across a co-worker or someone you know at a therapist’s office, an issue which is resolved by meeting your therapist virtually.

Keep in mind though, that online treatment can never become a substitute for emergencies, such as suicidal thoughts or for those with neurocognitive disorders. A large percentage of people who are coping with depression have either suicidal tendencies or are facing some sort of crisis.

Reaching out to a professional physically is then the only key for successful management of the problem. Additionally, many of the platforms do not provide an option for diagnosis nor prescribe medications, for which you may have to seek these out elsewhere.

 

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