By Elizabeth Weiss
Online healthcare has made it possible for more people to get a mental health diagnosis, especially those who are confined to the home or embarrassed about seeing a doctor in person about such issues. Online assessments may ease that burden by streamlining the process so more people get the help they need.
See the Right Medical Professional
Not every healthcare professional is qualified to diagnose mental health conditions. Others may be qualified to make the diagnosis but cannot prescribe medication. Finding just the right resource so you aren’t jumping between healthcare services begins by vetting doctors and mental health professionals carefully from the start and choosing who is best for you at the time.
- Turn to a GP: A general practitioner can often provide a depression or anxiety diagnosis after just one or two online visits and a thorough review of your overall health.
- Consult a psychiatrist: Psychiatrists may be willing to prescribe medication right away to aid in discomfort caused by depression, anxiety, panic or mood disorders, but several visits are often necessary for an accurate diagnosis and the most helpful medications. An in-person visit is sometimes requested for a thorough assessment.
- Consider therapy: Telehealth care visits are an incredibly convenient way to access group therapy and one-on-one therapy with a licensed therapist. Sometimes, what people need immediately is support, and a specific diagnosis can come second.
Possible Mental Health Diagnoses Online
There are plenty of online-based mental health tests and quizzes that can deliver insight into a person’s mental health symptoms and give you a place to start when it comes to seeking professional support. These tests, however, cannot diagnose mental health conditions with any certainty unless they are attached to a mental health professional.
Pay attention to the resources you’re using: some mental health assessments, though they may look legitimate, do not come from verified sources. It’s important to choose an online resource that is affiliated with a psychiatrist or licensed therapist who can review test results, gather additional information, recommend a telehealth care visit and make an accurate mental health diagnosis and treatment recommendations specifically for you.
Some of the mental health conditions that can potentially be diagnosed through an online mental health assessment include:
- Mood disorder
- Binge Eating Disorder
- Social Media Addiction
Anyone who poses a danger to themselves or others and struggles with a mental illness like bipolar disorder or schizophrenia are unlikely to find all the help they need through telehealth services. Care for this kind of mental health is better served with ongoing in-person treatment and carefully prescribed and monitored medication. Online self-assessments are not the most thorough resource in this instance.
When You Don’t Trust Your Online Diagnosis
If you feel like the diagnosis you’re given after doing an online mental health assessment does not accurately fit your experiences or is overly simplistic compared to how you feel, that doesn’t mean the diagnosis is wrong. That said, it could be incorrect, and if you feel fitful about the diagnosis, it’s okay to seek a second opinion. Online resources are an excellent jumping-off point, but there can be more to your potential condition than what these limited tests and tools show. Seeking professional support is what makes an accurate diagnosis possible.
For many people, learning about themselves online, getting a potential diagnosis of their mental health complication and knowing they’re not alone can bring incredible relief. Then it’s time to take care one step further with telehealth.
Covering the Cost of Telehealth Mental Health Services
Telemedicine and telehealth resources are far more affordable with insurance, but they are not unreachable for those without insurance. Costs vary depending on the type of provider chosen, their unique pricing options and the length of the visit. Sessions can cost as little as $20 or as much as a few hundred dollars, but the convenience of getting care in your own home is often worth it. Just make sure you choose a provider that offers mental health care.
A Note About Online Medication
When you are feeling desperate to fix your mental health right away, you may turn to the internet to find what you need – including medication. Psychiatric medication can only be purchased from a registered online pharmacy if you have a legitimate prescription from a psychiatrist or general practitioner. Taking the wrong medication could actually make your condition worse. Rely on telehealth if you cannot see a doctor in person and get the medication you need.
Make the Most of Online Resources
Remember, assessment is not the same as treatment. At Mentavi Health, we uphold this proven model and guide our visitors in implementing it.