Now a month into the COVID-19 pandemic, lots of us are facing new kinds of anxiety and stress that our quarantined lives have brought on. But what many of us have forgotten is that there are recovering addicts who cannot jeopardize their recovery. Isolation and stay-at-home orders have seemingly erected barriers to accessing quality mental health care, forcing many to skip out on their regularly-attended 12-step meetings and therapy sessions. But the truth is that your well-being does not have to be put in the line in the middle of this crisis. Online therapy options can help you keep your course to recovery.
Several studies have confirmed that online therapy is just as effective in stemming anxiety and depression as in-person or face-to-face therapy. In one study, a group of 62 people suffering from depression were split into camps receiving in-person and online therapy. Both groups received the same modules in the same order and timeframe (based on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy principles). Even more interestingly, at a three-month checkup following the end of treatment, individuals in the in-person group reported significantly worsened symptoms over the group who received online therapy. Individuals in the online therapy group remained stable. There may be a link, for depression anyway, that shows that online therapy may be even more beneficial than face-to-face therapy.
Another study found that ten weeks of CBT delivered online was effective in a group of primary care patients suffering from anxiety and depression. And because of the cost-effectiveness of online therapy, it’s been recommended as a viable alternative to in-person therapy. Even more so for the recovering addict or alcoholic who needs to stay connected to their therapist during this time.
The reality is that the COVID-19 pandemic has made life difficult for everyone, and if you’re suffering from anxiety (whether new or old), your access to quality mental health care is as important as ever. But some people’s needs are falling through the cracks: the addict trying not to relapse during one of the most stressful events of the last century. It can’t be stressed enough how important it is for recovering addicts to not abandon hope and rather reach out to engage in one of the many online and telehealth options available to them.
There’s been lots of research done on why people resist treatment for addictions in the first place. Among them are shame, cost, and logistics. Consider the amount of work and time it would take to organize having a loved one, or yourself, admitted to an in-patient facility. To say that it’s difficult is an understatement. Online addiction recovery can deal with these barriers and then some.
One of the pitfalls of traditional therapy and addiction treatment is that people drop out. A study at Yale found that members of an online 12-step program called CBT4CBT, which used multimedia tools to deliver cognitive behavior therapy, were less likely to drop out of treatment than people in face-to-face programs. Another study in 2014 found that adults engaged in online therapy for their addictions were more likely to remain engaged in face-to-face treatment if online therapy is used as a supplement. In other words, online therapy can actually help in-person therapy, too. The 255 members of that study were less likely to use alcohol and substances when active in the online therapy sessions.
If you are a recovering addict or alcoholic, don’t let the COVID-19 pandemic worsen your condition. You’ve likely been making serious ground, and you don’t want to let up on that. At Novus Mindful Life, our clinicians are committed to delivering the best possible care, whether in-person or over the Internet. We are encouraging those seeking addiction recovery to reach out to us to speak about our telehealth and online therapy options. These days are dark, but you don’t have to live in darkness. There are people available to you to help you cope, develop new action plans, and keep walking on the path to recovery. Make it a priority to contact us today! We at Novus Mindful Life are here for you!