Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that people may develop after being exposed to a traumatic event. Complex PTSD can occur when the trauma is ongoing, such as if someone is in an abusive relationship. PTSD symptoms can have a significant effect on a person’s quality of life and include symptoms such as anxiety, flashbacks, difficulty maintaining relationships, nightmares, intrusive memories and thoughts, difficulty sleeping and weight loss or gain. Luckily, there’s help for those who suffer from PTSD, and that help is getting easier to access as telehealth for trauma becomes more common. Learn what telehealth is and how it can be helpful for those with PTSD.
What Is Telehealth for Trauma?
Telehealth is a term used for health care that can be delivered in a virtual setting. Telehealth appointments have been around for several years, but they gained in popularity and accessibility during the COVID-19 pandemic. In a telehealth appointment for physical medicine, you get to speak to a health care professional, talk about your symptoms and get a diagnosis and/or treatment plan. The process is similar for telehealth appointments for mental health, including for those who’ve experienced trauma.
Consider this example: You’ve been suffering from PTSD symptoms but you have a fear of going out in public, or your work and family schedule is so busy that you don’t have time for in-person therapy appointments. You’re wondering how to get a PTSD diagnosis and what treatment modalities are available that don’t require driving to and from appointments. Telehealth can offer a confidential and convenient way to get an online PTSD diagnosis and make it easier to integrate therapy into your everyday life.
How Can Telehealth Help With PTSD?
Telehealth offers many benefits to those looking for PTSD treatment. The first — and possibly biggest — is that it’s convenient. Having to drive to and from appointments can be difficult to fit into your schedule, and it can be taxing for those who are dealing with severe symptoms. Being able to access mental health care online means you can do so from the comfort of your own home. This lowers the barrier of entry and may make it more likely for some people to keep up with their appointments and treatment plan.
Telehealth appointments may also be more accessible. Depending on where you live, you may not be close to a mental health care provider who’s experienced with PTSD and the available treatments. Telehealth means you can be miles away from your provider but still get the benefit of face-to-face interactions and be able to develop a strong rapport with them.
While progress has been made in recent years, there can still be a stigma attached to receiving mental health care. If you’re worried about someone seeing you going into a therapy office, you may be less likely to seek out care. Telehealth offers the utmost privacy because you don’t have to worry about anyone seeing you in the waiting room or having to explain why you’re there.
Telehealth Options for PTSD
When it comes to telehealth for trauma, there are a variety of options available for PTSD, ranging from online therapy to participating in virtual reality exposure therapy. In online therapy, you can speak with a health care provider just as you would during in-person therapy. They can help you understand your diagnosis and treatment options and work with you on an ongoing basis so you can take steps toward reducing your symptoms and improving your quality of life.
This type of technology also makes it possible to participate in virtual reality exposure therapy. Under proper guidance, desensitization therapy can be helpful for those who suffer from PTSD triggers. Virtual reality exposure therapy allows you to encounter your trigger and practice the techniques your therapist has been working on with you in a safe, controlled environment. Other treatment options, such as eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, may also be delivered in an online setting.
Effectiveness of Telehealth for PTSD Treatment
If you’re wondering how effective telehealth can be in delivering trauma-focused therapy for adults, the research may surprise you. Telehealth has been found to be a viable alternative to in-person appointments, and efficacy rates are generally no different than with traditional mental health care. In fact, telehealth can sometimes even offer improved outcomes because clients may be more likely to adhere to a treatment plan when they have easy access to appointments and support directly through their phone or other device.
Specifically in regard to those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs notes that telehealth treatment “reduced PTSD symptoms as much as in-home in-person therapy” and that this type of treatment can offer “more options for providers and more choices for individuals with PTSD.”
While every person is different and has their own unique presentation of symptoms, telehealth mental health care for those who have experienced trauma or are dealing with PTSD is a viable option and something that should be explored. If you’re interested in how telehealth can be a part of your mental health care plan, talking with a provider can help you better understand how telehealth for trauma works and what it can offer you.
How Sun Health Center Can Help
If you or someone you love is suffering from PTSD symptoms, Sun Health Center can help. We have comprehensive telehealth resources, including telehealth therapy for trauma, that can offer online PTSD help for those in Boca Raton and the surrounding area. If you’re ready to take the first step toward dealing with your symptoms and improving your quality of life, call 833-677-1813 to speak to a member of our team to find out more. A better life is possible, and we can help.