Online psychiatry services offer a flexible and inclusive option that can benefit people looking for more ease of access to mental health services. There are several reasons patients might prefer an online psychiatry appointment including physical distance from the offices for people living in rural or underserved locations, people who prefer to make appointments in between other activities or during breaks in their workday, or people with socially related mental health considerations that are enhanced with face to face appointments and interactions.
It’s important to understand the key differences between psychiatry and psychotherapy in order to understand what to expect from your online appointment and to further recognize whether virtual services are the right fit for you.
Before Your Online Psychiatry Appointment
Before your appointment, it will help to come prepared by writing out details about your mental health status that your care provider will use to help create a clear picture of your mental health needs and considerations.
Writing down a list of specific medical and mental health details may help you remember important information or have it on hand when it is needed during your appointment. It may also help you consider what questions to ask when you meet with your psychiatrist and can help you feel less anxious and more prepared for your appointment.
During Your First Online Psychiatry Appointment
This appointment will generally take longer than subsequent appointments. Your provider will start by getting to know you, your medical and mental health history, and any pertinent information that contributes to why you are seeking online treatment. This is a good time to share your expectations and concerns if you have any, and your psychiatrist will do their part to help you understand how typical sessions will work, and what other evaluations, medications, medical exams, or labs you may need.
As of the writing of this post in 2022, medical regulations currently permit doctors to prescribe medications online that previously required an in-person visit. These medications include stimulants, benzodiazepines, and hypnotics. The change was brought on by the Covid19 pandemic and current regulations may be changed by the DEA at any time. When it’s time for you to seek virtual services, your medical and mental health professionals can help inform you about how to proceed.
Even with the best technology and internet services, occasional internet and technical failures are simply unavoidable. If you get disconnected from your provider, check your connection and contact the main office if you cannot get back into your session. Unexpected problems can be a source of anxiety, so being prepared with a backup plan will help you to be in control while finding solutions to the problem and getting back to your visit.
After Your First Appointment
Unless you are receiving teletherapy, your subsequent online psychiatry appointments will generally be shorter. Your psychiatrist may work with your other healthcare providers to coordinate a treatment plan and will follow up on your existing treatment plan during each visit to make sure you are getting adequate medical and mental health care.
Online psychiatry is a great alternative to in-office treatment for many people. If you are in search of a psychiatrist who offers these services, contact Hudson Psychiatric Associates today.