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Pandemic Information: I am Open and Offering Teletherapy

Thursday, March 19, 2020 @ 07:03 AM  posted by Dr. Siders

Many of us have been greatly affected by the pandemic, and these sweeping life changes can put us on an emotional roller coaster. It can be a stressful, anxious, and sometimes tragic time. Honestly, I’m feeling stressed, too. But it is also exciting to see how the world has come together during the pandemic, and I have faith that we are going to get through this together.

We are switching to teletherapy for the next few months to help people continue therapy without leaving their homes. We are currently contacting individual clients, and you are welcome to browse our teletherapy pages or contact us for more information.

Also, some people have been unable to work during this crisis. If financial strain may prevent you from getting therapy you need, let’s discuss how I can help with that. Your emotional health is very important, especially right now. It’s also important to do the best you can to eat well, exercise, and get enough sleep, as your overall health affects your emotional health.  I also started a blog entry with additional financial tips that may help.

What is Teletherapy?

Teletherapy is when you use your computer, tablet, or cell phone to have a video conference with your psychologist.   You may be surprised at how easy it is to get started.

Does My Insurance Cover Therapy Using Teletherapy?

The short answer is: it depends. None of the information we have on this Web site or communicate to you is a guarantee of coverage. It is just the best information we have available. We are working with insurance companies to check whether they will cover teletherapy. Some plans already allow for teletherapy. Others are adding it for the COVID-19 quarantine period. So far, here is what we understand is being done (and please bear with us, as things are changing quickly):

  • Medicare is adding a temporary benefit to cover teletherapy during the period of national emergency.
  • Cigna has had some teledoctor benefits, with restrictions, and some of those restrictions are currently being waived and the teletherapy benefit is being extended to most plans through May 31st, 2020.
  • Anthem Blue Cross discusses teletherapy here: https://www.anthem.com/ca/blog/member-news/how-to-protect/.
  • We haven’t heard from other insurance companies, but we are starting to check our clients’ coverage individually.Thanks so much for your trust in me over the years and your patience as we try to provide the best care in the safest manner during these rapidly changing times.

Online Mental Health Screenings

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 @ 09:04 AM  posted by Dr. Siders

There are many online tests out there, including mental health screenings.  Some online mental health screenings are meant to sell you things.  Not necessarily bad things.  For example, some online memory tests are designed to sell you brain training software, some of which may assist people with retaining brain capabilities as they age.

Other online screenings are meant to expose you to advertising.  Still others just want to make you aware of a condition and its symptoms.  While the latter is a good goal, it’s important to remember that online screening tools are no substitute for seeing your doctor, psychologist, or neuropsychologist.  If you’re having any sort of symptoms, seek medical help.

Still, since screenings can be educational, and scoring an interesting result on an online screening can encourage people to see their doctors, psychologists, or neuropsychologists for professional screening, I’m posting this link to Mental Health America’s online screenings.  They include screenings for:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Psychosis
  • Eating Disorder
  • PTSD
  • Alcohol and Substance Use
  • Childhood Emotional Disturbances

Please use these screenings responsibly and do not assume that if you score well on a screening that you do not need to speak to a professional.  If you have any questions, please see a professional.

Finding out you have a mental health issue may seem scary at first, but it is better to find out early, so you can get help early.  Often doctors and psychologists can help prevent a condition from stopping you from reaching your true potential in life.

Check out the screenings here:

https://screening.mentalhealthamerica.net/screening-tools/?show=1&ref=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.mentalhealthamerica.net%2Fabout-mha-screening&ipiden=4814b4e3990d7553c61ad98191a5560c

Kick Your Mental Health Up a Notch

Tuesday, March 27, 2018 @ 08:03 AM  posted by Dr. Siders

If you read through my blogs, you’ll find various tips for improving your mental health.  Things like:

But these tips are all inside articles dealing with other, more specific topics.  I’ve been wanting to take some time to add more tips to help people cultivate mental health in general.  Some of these tips may seem like common sense to some people, but for others, they might be surprising.  For example:

  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Spend time with friends often.  A strong social support network (in person, not in social media) has been shown to boost mental health
  • Take breaks regularly to refresh your mind
  • Do a hobby or something else you enjoy at least once a week
  • Take time to enjoy small moments, or “live in the moment”

Tips  like that.  Helpful reminders.  And then I saw this article, which does a great job of summarizing many ideas for encouraging mental health.   So I thought I’d share it.  I hope you enjoy it!

http://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/31-tips-boost-your-mental-health

Can Hearing Loss Be an Early Indication of Alzheimer’s Disease?

Thursday, November 9, 2017 @ 02:11 AM  posted by Dr. Siders

Early detection of Alzheimer’s disease is vital to getting early treatment.  This is an interesting study that found a correlation between hearing loss and Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI), which can be a precursor of Alzheimer’s disease.

https://www.alz.org/aaic/releases_2017/AAIC17-Mon-briefing-risk-factor.asp

Memory Problems: Normal Aging, or Something Else?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 @ 07:06 AM  posted by Dr. Siders

We can all think of times when we could just not remember something that seemed so simple.  It is well known that some age-related memory decline is normal.  In fact, there are some areas of brain functioning that can begin to decline as early as age 25.  Sometimes, a memory failure can be scary.  Is it a sign of early Alzheimer’s disease or some other problem, or is it just a “senior moment?”  Is an evaluation needed?

Read more

I Was Referred for a Neuropsychological Evaluation. What’s Next?

Saturday, April 12, 2014 @ 05:04 AM  posted by Dr. Siders

Your doctor referred you for neuropsychological testing so you can be evaluated by a specialist trained to get detailed measures of your brain functioning. There are several reasons why your doctor may want measures of your brain functioning:

What is Neuropsychology and What Can It Do for Me?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 @ 05:04 PM  posted by Dr. Siders

Neuropsychology is the study of the relationship between brain function and behavior.  Neuropsychological evaluations begin with assessment, where you do tasks that test the different key areas of your brain.  After we interpret the tests, we get to know your brain functioning in detail and can figure out what parts of the brain are working fine and what parts are not.  We use that information to make individually tailored recommendations which help make your treatments work better by teaching you how to rely more on the parts of your brain that are still functioning properly.  

Neuropsychology includes assessment, interpretation of results, education, and customized treatment.

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