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We are sharing this video for educational purposes only. For a clinical diagnosis, you must see a healthcare professional. You can contact us if you have more questions.
Everyone has down days. Yet, there are times when a person’s down moods are so frequent that it becomes an actual illness. This illness has symptoms, a generally predictable course of action, and treatment procedure. There is not one general cause of depression. Increased stress can cause depression. Unresolved issues from the past can create depression. Even hormonal changes that occur in a female following childbirth can cause depression. So, how does a person know if her or his down mood is more than just a bunch of bad days put together?
First, if your mood is down consistently for more than 2 weeks, and you do not see an identifiable reason for the change, contact your doctor or other healthcare provider. Even if you do know the reason for the change, but your mood is really difficult to manage, seek some help. Here are the symptoms your healthcare provider will be evaluating:
- Depressed mood almost every day
- Decreased interest in pleasurable activities
- Weight loss or weight gain without trying of 5% body weight or a significant change in eating habits
- Difficulty sleeping or sleeping too much nearly every day
- Others see the depressed person physically shaking or moving slowly
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day
- Feelings of worthlessness or feelings of excessive guilt nearly every day
- Difficulty concentrating or indecisiveness
- Decreased interest in sex
- Thoughts of self-harm or suicide
If you or someone you know has five or more of these symptoms, talk to a healthcare professional. These same symptoms can also be associated with other medical issues and a well-trained healthcare provider should help make these determinations. Notice that these symptoms are things that a healthcare provider would ask you or your loved one and would then make decisions based on the responses. There is not a blood test or other medical procedure to prove the diagnosis of depression. Yet, it is a real illness that can be as deadly as a heart attack because people can get so depressed that they take their own life. During a severe depressive episode, there is a point that an individual begins to feel that the pain or struggle of continuing to live is more difficult than confronting one’s own psychological need for self-preservation. However, most people who are that depressed do not really want to die. They just don’t want to keep living the way they are living and do not see any alternatives. Depending on which study you look at, 5-12% of men and 10-25% of women will be clinically depressed at least once in their lifetime, and if untreated, at will last more than 6 months. Additionally, more than 50% of those who struggle with this once will have it return. Therefore, depression is not anything one should take lightly.
If you suspect you or someone you know suffer from depression call us to get an evaluation done. Call us today at 910-249-4219.
More and more people and organizations offer services using tele-psychiatry more than ever before. What about counseling or psycho-therapeutic services? Times are changing and the behavioral health world is adapting to the idea of tele-psychiatry and internet based therapy. Here are some of the advantages as you explore this idea:
- You do not have to leave the comfort of your home or office.
- You may not need to pay for a babysitter, since you will not need to leave your home.
- You will never be uncomfortable by seeing someone you know in the waiting room.
- You save time and money by not having to travel.
- Someone who really specializes in your particular need is more accessible.
- Individuals who struggle with mobility will not need to travel to an office building.
- The person seeking therapy can feel more in control because she or he is in a familiar environment.
- Services not available otherwise are now available to people who live in rural areas.
- If you have to travel out-of-town, you do not necessarily need to cancel your appointment.
- If your therapist goes out-of-town, you may not have to change your appointment.
- Therapists, who practice tele-psychiatry and online therapy, are held to the same standard of professionalism as those who practice in a traditional face to face setting.
There are some disadvantages to tele-psychiatry and online therapy when compared with the traditional face to face type of therapy. The idea of psychotherapeutic services being provided online initially was not received well by many helping professionals. Issues like identity verification, the inability to experience a person’s tone of voice or body language, and issues related to crisis management were frequent objections. As a result, many insurance companies refused to pay for any online services. However, many of those issues have been resolved, and the prevalence of online psychotherapeutic services is increasing. There are still a few disadvantages that a person should consider before developing a therapeutic contract with an online provider of care.
- When online therapy first started, it was through email and text messages like chat. The use of emoticons were the only way that a Therapist could know if a Client was angry, sad, crying, or bored. Now, with video based conversations or tele-psychiatry, that issue has mostly been resolved.
- With a few exceptions such as suicide, homicide, or abuse of a child, or an incapacitated adult, information shared with a therapist is confidential. Yet, if two people are sharing a conversation over a video service, like Skype, no one can guarantee who might be watching that conversation, or how it might be used. Skype, and other similar companies have published privacy policies, and generally this is considered safe. Yet this risk of a confidentiality breech must be acknowledged and accepted by anyone considering online therapy. Therefore, it is recommended that anyone considering this make sure she or he is aware of the confidentiality policy of the online video provider.
- Therapy online or Tele-psychiatry does make many professionals available that might not be otherwise due to geographic distance. However, it is important for any person that is considering this form of therapy to recognize that each state has its own governing body that establishes the rules of acceptable behavior for a therapist. Therefore, if a person is in a therapeutic relationship with therapist that lives in a different state, there are jurisdictional differences. It is always best to select a therapist that lives within the geographical boundaries of the state in which the perspective patient lives.
- There is not a specific universally accepted standard of care for online therapy across all healthcare disciplines. However, therapists are required to behave in the same way online as they would in an office setting.
- Some insurances companies will not pay for online therapy. However, 34 states allow some professionals to be reimbursed by Medicaid for tele-psychiatry. Additionally, 12 states legally require private insurances companies to pay for this service.
If you would like to consider tele-psychiatry, contact Tricare Counseling and Consulting, Inc. One of the professionals in our practice would be happy to have a discussion with you and mutually explore whether our skills and resources are a match for your needs and desires. The insurance companies with whom we work are listed on our website, and we also have prices available for anyone who may not want to use insurance.
Our office number 910-249-4219 and the website is http://www.tricarecounseling.com.
Authors: David Morrow and Patricia Adkins