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The 2020 pandemic is a game changer for mental health care

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/615390/coronavirus-online-therapy-mental-health-app-teletherapy/

technologyreview.com

The 2020 pandemic is a game changer for mental health care
The coronavirus outbreak has forced millions of us to isolate ourselves, sometimes even within the same house, from those we interact with every day: coworkers, friends, family, pets. Combine that with existential fear and a looming unknown future, and it's understandable that anxiety is high.

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Lockdown Anxiety and Technology

  • The new virus has forced the entire world in an unprecedented lockdown.
  • In these times of a looming unknown future, existential fear and separation from friends and family, millions are resorting to online help to deal with their anxieties. 
  • Demand for apps for managing stress has skyrocketed, with many App makers making their premium content free.
  • There are changes in regulation and relaxation of the constraints that earlier made it impossible to meet digitally with a mental health doctor. 
  • Telehealth and online mental health services are seeing a transition due to a large spike in counseling requests.

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Online mental health therapies may make people stick to it longer, but it’s long-term benefits are still questionable, according to a study.

This mandatory Quarantine mode, which can last for weeks or months, is making us more dependent on anything and everything online, with smartphones being the potential gateway to online mental health care.

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Telemedicine and telehealth

Telemedicine and telehealth

Telemedicine and telehealth involve remote-health-care technologies and services, known as "virtual care."

While virtual care played some role in the health-care industry, 2020 le...

Virtual healthcare recognized

  • Telemedicine can refer to the setup that allows workers in a large hospital to assist in emergency procedures from a distant support structure.
  • Telehealth uses virtual interactions between individual doctors and patients. You may have a bad sore throat and download the telehealth app, where you will be connected to a physician who can examine you and prescribe medicine.

Fifty to seventy percent of visits to the doctor's office could be replaced by remote monitoring and checkups.

Potential disadvantages of virtual health care

Telemedicine has been a hard sell in some areas.

  • Many rural clinics and community hospitals fear that their already inadequate medical staffing and the revenues generated from on-site procedures will be further diminished by remote medicine.
  • Old and poor patients who may need care the most can't afford smartphones or broadband connectivity.
  • Until recently, many people were unaware that the service existed, while others didn't trust an anonymous doctor.
  • Many people want to be in the physical presence of their physicians, believing the quality of virtual care is inferior.

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Stay informed by trusted sources

Facts will minimize your fear. There are two sources to use for managing fear in the new virus response: The World Health Organization and your national authority.

With all the...

Always return to yourself

Many consultants have headaches and nausea when they deal with stress and emotion. There are also times when there is nothing they can do, for example, provide beds, masks, and other needed supplies.

A psychological consultant advises that you should be aware of yourself, and distinguish which emotions are yours, which are the patients, and which are your empathy.

The effects of being isolated

Consider unexpected risks associated with the response to the outbreak, for example, poor mental health that is related to social isolation. Steps to take into account:

  • Staying connected with your social and family networks via technology
  • Keeping your daily routines as much as possible
  • Exercising regularly and practicing habits that you enjoy and find relaxing
  • Seeking practical, credible information at specific times of the day.

Complaining and venting

Complaining and venting

Social connection means sharing both positive and negative emotions. During a crisis, we can get comfort in sharing our fears and receive objective feedback.

However, we have to consider if...

Benefits of venting

Venting our fears and concerns with others can reduce their intensity. Others may provide support and care and soother our negative feelings. We can do the same in turn for them.

We learn we are not alone and may learn how others cope with their frustration and fear, which can help us adopt those methods.

When to know the limits

Venting should not become a habit as it won't fix the problem. When to stop negative emotions:

  • When venting becomes the main coping style cause delays in adaptive action.
  • When sharing with others stresses them.
  • When you don't feel better, and one or both of you feel worse.
  • Young children are not there to listen to our problems, and their job is not to soothe us.
  • Talk to your doctor if you experience signs of clinical depression (depressed mood, low energy, poor or increased appetite, insomnia, and poor concentration).