Get The Best Online Help For Depression

By Patricia Oelze|Updated August 9, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Lauren Fawley , LPC

Online Support With The Right Counselor

When you are thinking about the type of treatment for depression that you should consider or take advantage of, you may be wondering if online counseling is the right option. Here’s a look at what benefits this method may provide, and a look and when it may be necessary to work with a therapist that is covered through your health insurance. It is up to you to seek the emotional support, substance abuse help, or support groups that you may need when you are interested in getting therapy. If you're struggling with a specific type of depression, like postpartum, you may also be wondering, "can online therapy improve postpartum depression?" and the answer is yes. 

woman pondering online therapy

Do You Have The Coping Skills For Dealing With Depression?

What is Depression?

Depression is characterized by persistent sadness and the inability to experience a pleasure. You may also lose interest in activities that you used to love. The duration of symptoms may be short or long, symptoms can be mild or severe, and those with depression might experience a single episode or have recurring cycles. In some cases, substance abuse may occur in conjunction with the symptoms of depression. Besides that, one of the typical depression symptoms is low energy or motivation, making it difficult to leave the house or even get out of bed. Thus, getting in-person mental health support or mental health care can be difficult or even prohibitive for someone with depression. If you’ve realized that dealing with episodes of depression test your patience, or you are concerned that someone you care about (such as family members or friends) is depressed, it may be easier to consider speaking to a counselor online through online therapy than attending an in-person appointment. The internet has become a much sought-after platform for a growing number of therapy clients worldwide, as it allows you to speak face-to-face with a licensed professional from the comfort and ease of your environment.

It is important to point out that many online therapists will not be covered by health insurance. You should look into your insurance coverage to be sure, as well as pay attention to the specifics related to the site or free online therapy app that you want to utilize. Downloading an app to use for therapy is free, but the counseling you receive through the service will not be. If you and your family don’t have insurance plans, the fact that some sites don’t accept insurance may be less of an issue for you. Their service may still be economical to use.

Why Seek Online Help for Depression?

An online therapist can provide many benefits that make it easier to get help online help with depression. You can decide whether you want to speak with your therapist through video chat, live in-app messaging, on the phone, or via e-mail style messages. A therapist provider is focused on your needs, relationship with others, and often works primarily with adults. However, everyone can benefit from therapy, and there are services for children, teens, individuals, and couples. If you use messaging, you can go back later to be reminded of helpful exchanges. Speaking with someone online also makes it simple to seek help whenever and wherever you want, even late at night and around your work schedule, or from any place in the world. And you do not have to worry about transportation or travel time.

Virtual Support

Additionally, receiving online mental health services for treating depression gives you a wider variety of types of licensed providers who can offer professional medical advice to choose from similar to media websites or social media platforms. Your range of options is no longer restricted to your own geographic location in the United States. You can browse the network and profiles of licensed mental health professionals available through online platforms to find therapists who have expertise and experience working with online depression help and see the subscription price from the get-go. Some online therapy options may not accept insurance, which is something to keep in mind. Even if you are not satisfied with the therapist you are initially matched with, you will have the opportunity to find someone better suited to your preferences. 

man online, man pondering online therapy

Confidentiality

Therapists you speak with via an online platform are held to the same level of confidentiality as a therapist in a traditional practice. The platforms you use are secure, and your privacy is respected. If you prefer, you can maintain even greater anonymity using online therapy. If you do not have insurance covering psychotherapy or your psychotherapist does not accept insurance, it can be cost-prohibitive to see a counselor in person. The cost of online therapy is usually much less than paying out of pocket for a local therapist. Online counselors also tend to be more accessible, often offering therapy sessions more than once a week, if necessary. Also, they are still able to offer a personalized treatment plan, which is similar to what a therapist would likely discuss with you in their office.

Why Should I Seek Support?

One of the best answers to the question "Why Should I Seek Help for Depression?" lies in the research: studies show that the sooner in a depressive episode someone engages in treatment, the more quickly you may see a change in the symptoms of depression that you are experiencing. If you are suffering, why wait—especially when by getting help right away you could shorten the period of suffering? Another benefit in seeking professional help is that a licensed therapist will not judge you; they know that being depressed is nothing to be ashamed of. Some therapists specialize in treating anxiety and depression, including when you are also experiencing substance abuse, as well as other mental health conditions, and are as neutral as possible during your treatment.

 It can be hard to talk to friends and family members about your true thoughts and feelings. This may have to do with misinformation about mental health issues, worries about burdening loved ones with your problems, or being straightforward concerning your substance abuse issues. None of these worries exist when you talk to a professional helper. They may even be able to discuss support groups to consider, so you’ll have others to talk to that are experiencing similar concerns related to depression, substance abuse, or another mental health ailments. Whether you have an interest in seeking help or want to improve your personal life for the better, the sooner you start the sooner you might see improvement in your symptoms. 

What To Look for When Seeking Online Help

The internet provides many opportunities to learn about what depression is and how to ease the symptoms associated with it. You will find facts about typical experiences of depression, quizzes to tell you if you are depressed, and suggestions about how to cope with depression. A few online resources you may want to research more information on topics like clinical depression are Healthline Media websites, the National Institute of Health, or the American Psychiatric Association website. They will probably have medically reviewed articles or peer reviewed studies to evaluate, including those that involve psychodynamic psychotherapy and randomized controlled trial experiments, which are two aspects that are relevant to psychology and the scientific method. Of course, none of these are substitutes for speaking with someone about your symptoms. When you want to reach out for online therapy services, you should do so as soon as you can.

Virtual Support For Depression

When seeking online help for depression, there are a variety of options to choose from. It is important to consider whether the therapy platform you choose offers help from professionals who hold suitable academic degrees and are licensed clinicians. Appropriate therapists hold at least a master's level degree. They may be licensed psychologists, marriage and family therapists, clinical social workers, wellness professionals, or mental health counselors. You should also choose a website that allows for an easy change if you are not happy with your initial match. Different therapists have specific backgrounds and specialized levels of expertise with certain conditions, so you will want to look for someone who matches precisely what you are seeking help with. For instance, you may choose a therapist for pride counseling or teen counseling, if these are the specifications you are interested in. Associated support groups are something you may also want to take advantage of.

When Online Therapy Is Not Appropriate

Having thoughts about suicide or a suicidal ideation, especially when combined with a plan and/or means for suicide, can be a symptom of severe depression or major depressive disorder. Anytime you, a loved one, or family members are experiencing suicidal thoughts, you should contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Online therapy will likely not be the best resource for crisis counseling. Instead, you may want to look into licensed therapists who can offer a clinical depression diagnosis, if necessary, and prescribe medication, if this is needed.

It is important to seek help to protect yourself. With therapy sessions, your symptoms of depression can lessen, and you might be grateful you had your depression treated. You can still seek help from the comfort of your home by calling a local crisis hotline that can connect you to the best resources in your area.

How To Get Started

If you have never been in a counseling session before, it is normal to feel nervous or unsure about reaching out for help. One benefit to speaking with a professional is that they are trained to help you feel safe and comfortable talking about whatever concerns you. A therapist may also provide you with the emotional support that you require in order for you to feel more comfortable working with them.

Virtual Support

Getting help for depression online might be easier than finding the right in-person counselor. Instead of waiting days, weeks, or more for your first in-person appointment, you can usually start receiving help online within 24-48 hours. You can even exchange messages with your counselor anytime through a secure messaging room. Also, if you would like to switch therapists, you can do this at any time. If you have questions about depression or are ready to start receiving online care, get started today by signing up with BetterHelp.

What Kinds Of Online Therapy Can Help With Depression?

Cognitive behavioral therapy is a type of therapy that helps people reframe negative thoughts into positive ones. This reframing can leave to more positive emotions and healthier behaviors as well. CBT is considered a front-line therapy for even the most acute depression. Research shows that online CBT (iCBT) for depression is an effective alternative to in-person CBT. One recent study found no significant differences at a three-month follow-up between the depressive symptoms of those who received face-to-face CBT and internet CBT. Another study found that those who received CBT had significantly fewer depressive symptoms than a control group during a 10-week trial. Cognitive behavioral therapy can be utilized to treat many conditions, such as bipolar disorder, substance abuse, seasonal affective disorder, and postpartum depression. Since it can also be well suited to online depression treatment, this may be a good option for many. Consider reading medically reviewed articles online to find out more about how CBT works.

You may be concerned about the cognitive behavioral therapy price, especially if you are interested in working with an online therapist for a treatment plan. In many cases, online therapy is not covered by insurance. However, it can still be affordable and might provide you with an invaluable service. On the other hand, you may always choose to work with a therapist in-person, whose fee may be covered by your health insurance. In-person therapists will also be able to prescribe medication and provide medication management, including when using a mail order pharmacy, which not all online counselors are able to do. In some areas, you may even be able to find support available on a sliding fee scale, which means the fee for therapy services would be based on your income. You can talk to your physician about clinics, or a support group in your area, or search for these resources online.

There may even be an online course or two for you to look into, so you can learn more about depression, substance abuse, or any other condition you or a loved one is experiencing. You may be interested in looking into medically reviewed articles for more information on any mental health concern, symptoms, and the course of treatment associated with it.

Do You Have The Coping Skills For Dealing With Depression?

The Benefits Of Online Therapy

As discussed above, online CBT therapy sessions with a licensed therapist can be an effective way to treat depression. But when you’re struggling with symptoms like depressed mood, it can be hard to find the motivation to leave home. If you aren’t feeling like yourself or family members have been concerned about you, this is where online therapy may be essential. You can access BetterHelp’s platform from the comfort and privacy of your own home. There’s no need to sit in traffic or take time out of your busy workday to drive to your appointment; you can speak with your licensed therapist from wherever you have an internet connection. You are able to keep in touch through video chat, unlimited messaging through a secure online chat room, as well as other ways to interact with your counselor. BetterHelp’s licensed therapists have helped people with depression alleviate their symptoms. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp therapists from people experiencing similar issues.

Conclusion

When people that care about you begin commenting on your behavior, body language, or something else, they may be worried about you. Additionally, you might also have noticed that you are experiencing certain symptoms that may be associated with depression. If this is the case, there are many reasons to seek treatment, including different situations in which online therapy is a suitable option. Online therapy offers unlimited messaging and help with depression, substance abuse, and other conditions, while in-person therapy is efficient for assistance these ailments, as well as with medication management and finding applicable accept insurance therapists.

 Make sure you reach out for health care at the first sign of trouble, since this may allow you to see a reduction in your symptoms quicker. Help is available today, no matter if you require assistance in treating depression, substance abuse, or need aid with medication management for a previously diagnosed condition.

Therapist Reviews

“Leslie is great! She listens very well and has great advice. I immediately felt comfortable, and she will always try to fit you into scheduling and encourages contacting her outside of sessions if need be. I highly recommend her!”

What Kind Of Help Can You Get For Depression?

There are a number of different ways one can get help for depression whether that is through online or in-person therapy. Online depression therapy can involve in-app texting therapy, video  chat therapy, or phone call therapy. The health information data use policies remain secure as outlined through the privacy terms and privacy settings you can set yourself. In-person depression therapy may involve sitting across from your therapist while participating in a number of different techniques, with the most common being talk therapy. You can work with your therapist to determine the correct treatment plan for you. Online therapists may not be covered by certain health plans, although working with a therapist in-person could allow you to locate insurance therapists that you will be able to work with within your insurance plan or offer a sliding fee scale or financial aid, in order to help you with the costs associated with therapy. Moreover, they might be able to talk to you about support groups to take advantage of.  

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