Recently, research has been done to prove that, in some cases, internet based therapies can be just as successful as face to face therapies for battling depression and anxiety. It is a known fact that sufferers of depression and anxiety do not get adequate treatment. Cost and time are often why people are now seeking out treatment via the internet rather than with their doctors or healthcare professional.
Seeking treatment via the internet is cheaper, saves time, and is more immediate than calling to make an appointment at a later date with your doctor which will result in healthcare costs and usually time spent away from work. Although this appears to be a trend, it is not recommended for individuals with moderate to severe forms of depression and anxiety.
One of the reasons this form of treatment may be so successful is that it is convenient and it self-motivating. The “patients” are forced to rely on themselves for motivation to post their results online. This allows them to be responsible for their own thoughts and treatment. It allows them to be more in control of their lives.
Computers do not get distracted so each person can focus on their progress individually. It appears that people are almost more motivated to beat their depression and anxiety via this form of treatment than others. Some people are able to open up more because of the anonymity of the internet.
You can divulge your fears, stressors, frustrations, and aggravations all the while remaining anonymous to the masses. People are more prone to breaking down their barriers and revealing their true selves when they can still hide behind the curtain of the internet. The computer can be turned off but people cannot. It is easier to walk away from the computer than a face to face interaction.
Research has also found that psychiatrists, psychologists, and therapists will not be out of a job any time soon. Many patients still seek and crave the one on one interaction therapy can offer. Even group therapy is still needed for those that need the social interactions. What is being suggested is that internet treatments can be used in conjunction with the tried and true methods of therapy and medications to enhance their effectiveness.
One of the downfalls to treatment via internet is the isolation factor. Research has shown that internet use has drastically increased in recent years and, for some individuals, has turned into an addiction. Many longitudinal studies have shown that increased internet use has led to decreased social interaction with their own family.
This means that they are isolating themselves from the very people who may be able to help them the most. This decreased social interaction led to increased thoughts of loneliness, despair, and sadness. Due to these findings, it is imperative that more research be done on the effects of internet use and depression.
Regardless of what methods of treatment you decide to pursue, you should always consult with your doctor to make sure these treatments are right for you.