Telehealth appointments can be a great way to receive help for your depression. Just as with in-person visits with a psychologist or psychiatrist, you can receive therapy, get new prescriptions or renew your current ones. It helps both you and your doctor if you spend a few minutes preparing for your telemedicine appointment ahead of time.
Make Your Appointment a Priority
The first thing to do is to make your appointment a priority. If you are generally at work during your appointment time, make arrangements with your employer so that you are available. Find a quiet space, or you may want to go to your vehicle. Close to your appointment time, enable the do not disturb function on the device you are using. Head to the quiet spot and let others around you know that you are participating in an online meeting and should not be disturbed.
Check Your Technology
If you are using a smartphone or laptop, charge it before your meeting. Be sure that your phone or internet will work with the chosen communication platform e.g. Zoom or Skype. If possible, come up with a backup plan in case your first option fails. It is usually easier to be heard and to hear if you use a headphone with a microphone.
Consider Your Background
Think about what is behind you during the session. Sit in a place where the sun will not be in your eyes or showing directly in the camera. Dress for the meeting with the online psychiatrist as you would if you go to the doctor’s office. Ensure that there is enough light in the area that the doctor can see your face.
Prepare Ahead of Time
You will want to have your insurance information ready during the initial meeting. Additionally, if other doctors have given you any new medications, make sure to have those bottles ready to show the camera. If the psychologist has given you homework, complete it and have it ready. For example, they may have instructed you to keep a mood journal. Make a list of any questions you have for the doctor so that you do not forget to ask them during your appointment. If you were sent any paperwork ahead of time, ensure you have completed and submitted it.
Online depression treatment is often as effective as being seen in the office and can be much more convenient if you prepare for your appointment first.