For years, mental health issues were discussed in hushed tones. Families kept their kin’s struggles with mental health a secret. However, when mental health professionals and celebrities started discussing the reality of mental health, more victims made their struggles public.
It is estimated that mental health affects 13% of the global population. This translates to about one billion people.
Online therapy has been a game-changer since anyone can today speak to a professional from the comfort of their homes. In the telehealth industry, online therapy is the most sought after service.
In 2019, the global telehealth industry was valued at $61.4 billion. It is projected that by 2027, this industry will be worth $559 billion.
The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically increased the demand for online mental health therapy. In the US, at least 53% of the population is said to suffer from poor mental health associated with the pandemic. Loss of employment, reduction in household income, and lockdowns have affected many people, forcing some to seek online therapy.
What is mental health?
Mental health is at the centre of your well-being. When you are not struggling with mental health, you’ll find it easier to manage stress, make sound decisions, and find it easy to relate with others.
Mental health, just as physical health, is important. Unfortunately, when you suffer from physical illness, your mental health is likely to be affected.
Most common conditions that online therapists address
Anxiety: Many people suffer from anxiety. The source of anxiety varies from one person to the next. For some people, their relationship with loved ones causes them to become anxious, especially when things are not going well. For others, it is their job, health, finances, and failures. Symptoms of an anxiety disorder include stress, persistent worries, and fear of the unknown.
Depression: A significant number of people seeking online therapy are suffering from depression. Symptoms include fatigue, persistent low mood, and an unexplained sense of loss and sadness.
Many people who suffer from depression become suicidal if they don’t receive help.
Bipolar disorder: People who suffer from bipolar disorder experience radical shifts in mood. One moment they are extremely happy. The next, they are in a depressive mood.
This affects their relationships since those around them do not know who they will be meeting the next morning. Will she be moody or happy? People with bipolar affect the mental health of those around them. Family members and friends live with anxiety, wondering what they are doing wrong to ruin the person’s mood.
Substance use disorders: Online therapists receive calls for help from alcohol and drug addicts and their families. Substance use and abuse are destroying lives. Unfortunately, even addicts who are aware of the effect of their addiction on their families don’t know how to bring the misery to an end.
This is a mental health issue, and the right support system is necessary for one to conquer addiction. The advantage of online therapy is instant help is available. Sometimes, addicts need to talk to someone who will not judge them.
Some people are more open with strangers, and that is what online therapists are to their patients.
Eating disorders: Did you know that eating disorders are one of the deadliest mental illnesses? In the US, Approximately 10,000 people die annually from eating disorder related illnesses. Unfortunately, some people have body image issues that affect how they eat.
For example, anorexics worry about putting on weight, even when they are obviously thin. Eventually, the body learns to reject the food, which ultimately affects their physical health. People who binge eat are also suffering from an eating disorder, and therapy may help identify the reason behind emotional eating.
Post-traumatic stress disorder: People who have gone through a dangerous situation or a traumatic event sometimes have PTSD. Such individuals fail to move on from the trauma. PTSD can last years if it is not addressed.
For example, someone who was attacked in the street may choose never to leave the house because he feels safer in the house. Unfortunately, family members assume the person will get better over time, but some people never do. When this happens, therapy is necessary.
Relationship issues: A significant portion of people seeking online therapy seeks relationship counselling. Relationship problems often lead to other mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression. Some people seek help from online therapists because they want to hear from someone who is not emotionally invested in the relationship.
Online therapy sites have made therapy more visible and approachable. The accessibility of mental health services has made it possible for more people to get support from online therapists.