Expert tips

What to know about getting antidepressants online with telehealth
By Dr. Ho Anh, 06/24/2020

The new telehealth wave is making it more convenient and safe to seek treatment remotely. Speaking with a prescribing provider is quick and easy to access from anywhere through your phone or computer. Receiving a prescription right at your door (also known as an e-prescription) ensures you never have to go out of your way to pick it up or forget to stop at the pharmacy on the way home from work.

For mental health, in particular, telemedicine allows people to find care faster and easier. It may seem daunting and even strange to get medication remotely and never meet the doctor in person, but as our world becomes increasingly digital, connecting with someone over the phone or video has become even easier than connecting in person. And sure enough, waiting to see a doctor in-person can take weeks. Sometimes, we just don't have the time.

Sometimes, we need to receive care more urgently. Meeting with a doctor via telehealth is as quick as same-day or at most, a few days. Tens of thousands of people are switching over to telemedicine and many are finding the care to be more genuine and more effective than in person. So, why not try it out? And if you're not sure if you have depression or anxiety, feel free to take our emotional assessment first.

How does getting antidepressants or anxiety medication via telehealth work?

  • Schedule a time easily
    Telehealth services usually have their own patient portals. Making an account is as simple as signing up. After signing up, there will be an option to schedule a time.
  • Speak to a provider within 1-3 days
    Unlike in-person doctor's appointments, telehealth appointments don't have wait times of weeks or months. Your provider will go through symptoms, medical history, allergies, and current medication to determine the right treatment for you.
  • Get your prescription fast
    Prescription is delivered to your doorstep after you and your provider determine a course of treatment. Your provider will make sure to explain why you are receiving a particular treatment and what you can expect going forward.
  • Reach your Care Counselor or provider easily
    Keep track of how your treatment is working by messaging regularly with your mental healthcare professionals. At Cerebral, there will also be monthly check-ins with your Care Counselor, where you're free to discuss how you've been feeling and possible strategies on how to manage your emotions.
  • Keep things private and confidential
    With telehealth, care is right at your fingertips and at your discretion. Have your meetings at work or at home while taking care of your kids. Remote healthcare fits into your schedule, wherever you are.

Who should consider telemedicine for mental health?

Telemedicine is safe for most individuals. It's particularly helpful for those who are having difficulty accessing in-person treatment, too busy to stop at the store, or prefer to be in the comfort of their own home.

  • Convenience
    Some of us have young children at home, and it would be difficult to bring them along to the office. Similarly, some have packed work schedules and can't seem to carve out enough time to drive to the doctor's and to the pharmacy. Virtual visits are much more flexible. They're designed to fit into your schedule and take as little of your day as possible.
  • Accessibility
    Scheduling in-person appointments can be tedious. Where do you go for care? How do you schedule an appointment? What if there are no appointments available for the next 2 months? Treatment via phone or video is much quicker to access when your physical location stops being a barrier.
  • Saving money
    A virtual treatment is cost-effective. In-person consultation can run up to hundreds of dollars. With telehealth, you're saving yourself money in the long run.

Ultimately, remote depression and anxiety treatment is safe, secure, and discreet. It's easy to access and manage through your own portal. Cerebral is dedicated to your mental health, and our providers and therapists are a one-stop place for all you might need for mental healthcare.

What are some common questions?

  1. Can you diagnose depression virtually?
    Yes! With mental health concerns, diagnosing over video appointments is just as accurate as diagnosing in-person. The same clinical guidelines and tools are used in-person and remotely.
  2. Can antidepressants be prescribed virtually?
    Yes, virtual providers may prescribe antidepressants and ensure your treatment is delivered right to your door. The process is seamless and effortless.
  3. Can I get a refill virtually?
    Yes, you will be mailed your medication every month so you won't need to worry about picking up your refills at the pharmacy each month.
  4. Are antidepressants available over the counter?
    No, antidepressants require a prescription as they might have side effects and drug interactions. Cerebral's providers and Care Counselors are dedicated to helping you track and manage your treatment.
  5. When will I see the antidepressants take effect?
    On average, antidepressants begin to work in 6 weeks. Your doctor will work with you to determine the best medication and talk to you about how long it might take for you. Everyone's brain and chemical makeups are different, and your treatment will be unique to you.

Seeking treatment for your depression and anxiety is simple and secure. If you feel like you might be experiencing symptoms of depression, we hope you'll consider taking our free emotional assessment to determine if treatment is right for you.

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