Some people are skeptical about the possibilities of telemedicine. More traditional therapists believe that people need to visit therapists in person in order to establish the secure environment that people usually need in order to get well. However, new studies that demonstrate the efficacy of telemedicine are calling that view into question.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and clinical depression are some of the most difficult illnesses to treat. Many people suffering from depression more or less consider themselves unworthy of treatment, and their depression may prevent them from having the will to go through with treatment. It is difficult for people with PTSD to ever feel safe, even in a comfortable room with a therapist. However, a recent study involving soldiers with PTSD demonstrated that the participants had less severe PTSD and depression symptoms after only eight sessions.
Similar studies should be repeated with people who have PTSD that was not caused by time served in the military. People with PTSD that was brought on by a period of ongoing abuse can have different symptoms than people who got PTSD in the military. However, the results of the study are certainly promising and demonstrate the tremendous potential for telemedicine.
Many people do not live close enough to qualified therapists to get the treatment that they need. People often have to shop around to find therapists that work for them, which means that people are limited by their locations. People with severe anxiety disorders often do not want to even leave their homes to go to therapists’ offices, so telemedicine may be a particularly good option for them. This new system may ensure that people finally get the therapy that they need, possibly for the first time.
Thanks to telemedicine, the power that talented therapists have can expand. They can reach much larger audiences, limited only by their own schedules. The barriers between doctors and patients are potentially dissolving in new ways thanks to technological advances like this one.