Great news for depressed people – internet-based therapy is as successful as face-to-face treatment at combating depression, and it works better than drug therapy.

A study that psychiatrist Gavin Andrews from the University of New South Wales did, found that Internet treatment required less than two hours compared to an average 12-15 hours of treatment with a practitioner.

Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) is based on the notion that negative, distorted thoughts and beliefs are behind feelings of distress. Learning to  challenge these thoughts can make you better by focusing on ‘the here and now’.

You can benefit from as few as eight or ten sessions.

 

Online treatment is available from:

MoodGYM

A self-help package for sufferers of anxiety and depression, developed by the Australian National University. It reduces dysfunctional thinking and helps develop a healthy mind. The site is freely available  and attracts over 600 visitors a day from 62 countries.

MoodGYM is in English, open to the public and proven to work. It gives people skills, everyone can afford it and it’s accessible 24/7 even if you live in a remote area.

The British Medical Journal evaluated MoodGYM in January 2004, showing that users who accessed the programme weekly ended up with markedly reduced depressive symptoms, which is similar to face-to-face treatment.

If you’re not sure if you’ve got the stamina to tackle a targeted cognitive behavioural therapy package, take heart. Reading well-prepared information about your condition can have a healing effect.

Panic Centre

Aimed at sufferers of panic attacks – and studies have shown that it is better at controlling panic than other self-help measures.

DepressioNet

Created by Australians from a variety of backgrounds who have had personal experiences with depression.

Beyond Blue

Tailors approaches for specific population groups, such as young mothers, children, men, women, teenagers and older adults and aims to be accessible to as many people as possible.

The Impact of Depression:

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide and is predicted to be the leading cause of burden of disease by 2030, ahead of heart disease.

Most sufferers of anxiety and depression experience debilitating symptoms, but never seek treatment and may be too self-conscious to seek counselling.

While people are suffering, they find it difficult to believe that anxiety and depression are highly treatable.

 

Advantages of Cybertherapy:

  • It’s free
  • You don’t need medication
  • Accessible 24/7
  • No appointment needed
  • Accessible if you live miles from nowhere
  • Avoids embarrassment
  • It’s anonymous
  • Gives you immediate feedback
  • Better than reading self-help books
  • It’s personalised
  • Just reading well-prepared information about your condition can have a healing effect
  • Agoraphobics might get treatment for the first time ever.

NOTE: Receiving treatment online may not suit everyone. If you or your loved one is at risk in any way, call a help line or see your health professional.