In order to continue navigating their mental health journeys, patients of Cerebral are looking for Cerebral Online ADHD Alternatives.
Cerebral Online ADHD Alternatives
During the pandemic, online access to mental health care exploded. Those who would normally seek talk therapy from a therapist or psychiatrist in an office setting suddenly found that option no longer available to them.
To adapt to this change, many mental health providers transitioned to offering telehealth services for their clients to meet their needs remotely and provide talk therapy from the comforts of their own homes.
Roughly 20% of Americans struggle with some sort of mental illness, but finding access to mental health solutions isn’t always easy or available in all areas of the United States. Many local therapists find their caseloads to be overloaded and have long waiting lists.
With the rise of demand for remote mental health services, applications and subscription platforms such as Cerebral were born. These services operate by contracting out multiple mental health professionals to offer a readily available service for anyone who found themselves in need of talk therapy, mental health diagnosis, or medication for a mental health condition.
What is Cerebral?
Cerebral is an online monthly-fee subscription platform that provides patients with access to a mental health provider and assists in medication management for conditions such as depression, anxiety, or insomnia. Cerebral offers talk therapy and treatment plans for patients who may or may not have medical coverage from their insurance company. You may also need to pay a co-pay.
Cerebral uses care counselors and care counseling as part of its Collaborative Care model. Having someone who is specifically there to listen and empathize is one of the benefits of using Cerebral.
However, as of earlier this year, Cerebral has announced that its providers and nurse practitioners will halt prescriptions of controlled substances used to treat mental illnesses, such as Adderall or Xanax. With the pandemic on the decline and many areas of the unites states returning to life as normal, office therapy settings are becoming more available again where patients can seek medication management from a local psychiatrist as opposed to those provided via telehealth services.
According to The Wall Street Journal, as of June 2022, the FTC is investigating Cerebral for deceptive or unfair marketing practices.
Alternatives to Cerebral
The decision to halt prescriptions has left Cerebral’s new and existing patients seeking out alternatives that will allow them to continue to navigate their mental health journey alongside a professional using talk therapy or psychiatry for follow-up care. Here are some of Cerebral’s top competitors:
- BetterHelp is a good, all-encompassing online therapy provider. They offer services for a wide range of needs and have a high approval rating from patients that utilize their services. They do not accept insurance or offer medication management services but tend to have lower subscription costs than other alternatives.
- BetterHelp offers several different modes of communication to assist with therapy needs. Patients have the option of phone calls, video calls, unlimited messages, and live chats, allowing them to choose the mode of communication most comfortable for them to express themselves.
- All of their therapists are licensed healthcare providers but subscribers do not have the advantage of selecting their therapist. However, if the patients feel that the therapist is not the most ideal fit, BetterHelp makes it relatively easy to switch providers.
- Talkspace was one of the first online therapy providers, founded back in 2012. It is a user-friendly and interactive online platform that offers a variety of communication options and services, including medication management. Some of the services provided by Talkspace may be covered by insurance providers.
- Rather than having a specific therapist assigned, Talkspace matches its patients with three therapists based on their needs, allowing subscribers to choose the best fit from the three options available to them.
- The subscription includes 24/7 access to a licensed therapist through online messaging and weekly meetings. The platform also offers goal setting and tracking, milestones, and progress reports to help patients stay on track with their therapy goals.
- Regain is an online mental health subscription platform designed specifically with couples in mind. All therapists are licensed and available anytime through unlimited messaging for both partners in the relationship, however, they do not offer medication management services and the therapist is assigned to the subscriber.
- Regain allows the patients to meet with the therapists one on one and as a couple. While the platform does not accept insurance for its services, it has a high user satisfaction rating compared to other services that specialize in couples therapy.
- Wellnite is the top online mental health provider for those seeking talk therapy and medication management for depression and anxiety. The subscription service is in-network with some PPO plans and offers same-day appointments for individuals, families, couples, and teens.
- Wellnite comes highly recommended by its current users as it is one of the more affordable options for the services it provides, even for those who are not covered by an insurance plan. Unfortunately, Wellnite prescribers are unable to use controlled substances for medication management.
- Wellnite’s prescribing practices means that you can pick up your prescription at a local pharmacy or use medication delivery.
- Unlike some of the other options available, Amwell is not a subscription-based platform. Services are offered to insiders in the form of live video sessions that are paid up-front per session. All therapists have either master’s or doctoral degrees with their biographies and credentials listed on the website to allow patients to choose the therapist they feel will be the best fit for their needs.
- Amwell’s providers offer therapy for a wide range of mental health issues, including attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), and much more.
- One of the more desirable options provided by Amwell is the flexibility it offers its patients. Depending upon the therapist’s availability, patients can schedule sessions on evenings, weekends, and even some holidays.
- Pride Counseling
- Pride Counseling is an online subscription-based platform that provides quality and accessible care for the LGBTQIA+ community. All therapists available specialize in working with members of the LGBTQIA+ community and are well versed in their common struggles and therapy needs.
- The subscription offers unlimited messaging coupled with regular meetings via phone call or video. While patients are unable to choose their therapist, use health insurance, or have access to medication management services, the platform does offer reimbursement documents and allows patients to easily switch therapists if they feel that the one they are assigned is not the best match for their needs.
- Teladoc Health
- Teladoc is one of the oldest telemedicine providers, getting its start in 2002. It offers services to a wide range of patients, even extending internationally. While it is not a subscription service and the sessions are paid for individually, some types of insurance or reimbursement may be accepted or offered.
- Therapists and Psychiatrists on Teladoc are not employed by Teladoc Health, but rather own independent practices. These licensed providers can provide talk therapy and medication management to their patients, but the site states that those patients who are diagnosed with schizophrenia and bipolar disorder would benefit more from being treated onsite and will not offer medication for those conditions.
- Teladoc works with Medicare, contact your insurance company for specific details.
- Circles is an online subscription-based platform that offers services strictly focused on group therapy. It is one of the only online group therapy options. The group therapies are provided in live, online support groups led by licensed therapists and certified coaches and cater to a wide variety of struggles such as addictions, grief, depression, and anxiety.
- The service offers unlimited messaging with care counselors and group members and there are group therapy sessions that center around specific topics that are commonly encountered by members struggling with a particular mental health condition.
- The services provided by Circles are not covered under insurance plans and it is recommended that group therapy not take the place of individual therapy for mental health struggles. There are no medication management options available in the services offered by Circles.
- Monument is an online subscription-based platform that centers its services around those who suffer from alcohol-related mental health disorders and addiction. Services offered may be covered under some insurances and the patients can access a therapist via messaging, phone call, or video session.
- While only offered in 19 states and Washington D.C., the services for patients residing in those areas are convenient and easy to use, resulting in a high approval rating from its subscribers.
- Monument does not allow patients to choose their therapist and the services it provides aren’t effective for those who are struggling with a mental health condition where alcohol or substance abuse isn’t the primary cause. However, it does offer medication management for its subscribers.
- Online-Therapy.com is an online subscription-based platform that specializes in services for those seeking cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). All therapists on Online-Therapy.com specialize in CBT which is used to treat a wide range of mental health conditions, such as ADHD, and the platform offers additional resources for patients struggling with self-care.
- Online-Therapy.com does not accept insurance or offer medication management services but offers a promotional rate on the first month’s subscription.
- Faithful Counseling
- Faithful Counseling offers a monthly subscription service for patients seeking a therapist aligned with the Christian faith. All licensed mental health providers available through Faithful Counseling have agreed to the same statement of faith.
- The platform offers phone calls, video chats, and messaging for its patients to connect with their therapists in the way that is most comfortable for them. The therapists offer biblical advice in conjunction with modern mental health treatments to cater to those who are seeking guidance through their condition to be in line with their faith.
- Those who are not aligned with the Christian faith are also welcome to utilize the platform. Faithful Counseling does not accept insurance but will provide reimbursement documents for those seeking reimbursement from an insurance provider.
- Ayana Therapy
- Ayana Therapy is an online mental health provider that offers services either by a monthly subscription or by individual session. Ayana Therapy provides quality therapy to minority groups or marginalized peoples by licensed therapists who understand their struggles and share their backgrounds.
- Ayana Therapy creates a safe space for marginalized communities and focuses on serving the under-represented. The service matches patients with a therapist that is aligned with their values and shares their background.
- While Ayana Therapy does not accept insurance or offer medication management services, it does prioritize affordability and offers reimbursement documents for those wishing to seek reimbursement for out-of-network services.
What are the symptoms of ADHD?
Attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms look a little different for each person that is impacted by the mental health condition, but the most common symptoms that are observed in those who are struggling with ADHD are impulsiveness, inattention, and hyperactivity.
Some symptoms of ADHD are more prominent in some individuals than they are in others and are also displayed differently in children and teenagers than they are in adults.
In children, some of the more common signs of inattentiveness are:
- Shortened attention span
- Trouble with focus or concentration
- Easily distracted
- Making careless mistakes in school work or chores
- Misplacing or losing items
- Difficulty focusing on repetitive or time-consuming tasks
- Difficulty following instructions
- Jumping from one activity to another
- Difficulty with organization
In children, some of the more common signs of hyperactivity and impulsiveness are:
- Struggling to be still, especially in calm surroundings
- Fidgeting, physical movement, or overall restlessness
- Difficulty concentrating on assigned tasks
- Appearing more outspoken and interrupting conversations with adults and peers
- Difficulty waiting their turn in lines or games
- Acting on impulse
- Lacking a sense of danger or consequence of actions
- Struggling to pay attention in school
The American Psychiatric Association states that roughly 2.5% of adults have ADHD. For those patients who have survived their childhood without being diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms are more difficult to recognize.
The same three common symptoms – hyperactivity, impulsiveness, and inattentiveness – are the main identifiers of ADHD in adults, but present very differently than they do in adolescents and teens.
Some symptoms of adult ADHD may appear as:
- Lack of attention to detail in their work or responsibilities at home
- Continuously beginning new projects before completing old ones
- Struggling with organization at work or home
- Difficulty identifying priorities
- Losing, misplacing, or forgetting items or tasks
- Displaying an overall feeling of restlessness or irritability
- Interrupting conversations or talking over others
- Difficulty handling stressful situations
- Engaging in risky behaviors that compromise the safety of self or others
Cerebral stimulants or central nervous system (CNS) stimulants such as amphetamines and methylphenidate are used to treat attention deficit disorder. These stimulants are chosen to treat ADHD because they extend the attention span and focus while regulating the more impulsive behaviors by allowing increased levels of dopamine in the brain.
Unfortunately, these stimulant medications can cause some unfavorable side effects for those seeking help to manage ADHD. Some side effects of CNS stimulants include trouble with sleep and appetite, spikes in blood pressure, dizziness, and weight loss. These medications can also cause patients to have a rebound effect when the dosage begins to wear off, causing an increase in irritability.
Antidepressants can also be prescribed medications for ADHD if the side affects of stimulant medications are not well tolerated.
Alternatives to ADHD Medication
Because of the side effects that common medications can cause and the time it may take to find the appropriate dosage that is effective for the individual’s condition, many of those who were previously medicated as a means to help manage their ADHD are turning to alternative treatments.
Natural Remedies for ADHD
Some alternative options to medication for ADHD vary from elimination diets to yoga. Here are some of the most common, non-stimulant alternatives that are being explored by those who have been diagnosed with ADHD:
- Elimination Diets
- Some types of foods may cause symptoms of ADHD to become more pronounced. By trying an elimination diet, where the most common allergens are removed from the diet for a period extending over 3 weeks. Along with gluten, dairy, and soy, many of those who have found respite in an elimination diet discovered that their symptoms improved by removing preservatives, sugar, red dye #40, and artificial sweeteners from their daily intake.
- Omega-3 Supplementation
- A daily supplement of Omega-3, such as fish oil, can increase brain functions and help improves patients’ ability to think more clearly, control their impulses, and become more attentive.
- Exercise has been shown to cause an increase in dopamine levels. This is effective as a mode of alternative treatment because many of the medications that are used to treat ADHD involve increasing the levels of dopamine in the brain.
- Yoga and Meditation
- Yoga and meditation go hand in hand as it is an effective means to become more in tune with your body and mind. These practices may be beneficial for those seeking alternatives to medication for ADHD treatment by helping patients become more aware of how their symptoms present in their mind and body and how to navigate them as they arise.
- Parent Training
- By providing parents with the appropriate resources to navigate their child’s behaviors as they relate to an ADHD diagnosis, medications can sometimes be avoided if parents are well equipped and able to help their children better understand their behaviors and how to manage them.
- Neurofeedback is an interactive model of therapy. Medical professionals help patients learn to train their brains using EEG electrodes to reach a better space of focus and attention by keeping their brain waves within normal ranges.
- Avoiding social media
- Social media can have a negative impact on people with ADHD and should be avoided.
For children, teens, and adults who are learning to manage their ADHD, speechify can be a useful tool to help them on their journey. Speechify is a text-to-speech reader that allows its users to have their reading materials read aloud to them.
Reading can sometimes be a struggle for those who are struggling with a lack of focus and forgetfulness which are common symptoms of ADHD. Speechify can help alleviate some of this struggle. While the materials are read aloud they are also highlighted on the page so that the listener may follow along, allowing for increased retention and focus by both hearing and seeing the words that are being read.
The app also allows its subscribers to take photos of pages that they need to read so that they can listen to them at their convenience and is compatible with Chrome, iOS, and Android, integrating with any desktop or mobile device to allow for listening at home and on the go.
Because hyperactivity and restlessness are common symptoms of ADHD, sitting still and reading can be quite a challenge for those who are learning to manage their condition. Speechify can help these individuals jump this hurdle by allowing them to multitask while listening to whatever may need to be read. Textbooks, emails, and PDFs can be read to the subscriber while they exercise or run errands.
Audible learning is a useful tool for those who are struggling with ADHD as it takes the focus away from reading the words on the page and allows the listener to visualize the story or material in their minds and make connections with the information they already know.
By using Speechify to read whatever materials they need, those who are living with an ADHD diagnosis can still find a way to learn effectively and retain information without dreading the act of physically sitting still and reading words from the page.
Will Cerebral prescribe ADHD meds?
Cerebral will stop writing prescriptions for new and existing patients for controlled substances such as Adderall and Ritalin as of May 9th, 2022. Patients who are seeking medication management for ADHD utilizing controlled substances will need to seek an alternative source for their medications.
When can I take my ADHD test?
There is no one specific test for ADHD. For those who have been diagnosed with ADHD, symptoms began in childhood but can vary as the individual ages or encounters new seasons of life. While an official diagnosis may not have been achieved in childhood, if symptoms of ADHD become more problematic in adulthood, patients are encouraged to speak to their care team for an official diagnosis of ADHD and to set up a therapy plan. An official diagnosis from a clinician may include a physical exam and a questionnaire.
Is Cerebral worth the money?
Cerebral accepts multiple insurance plans and offers cost-effective services for talk therapy. Even without insurance coverage, Cerebral’s out-of-pocket rates are reasonable and the Cerebral website states that they accept FSA and HSA cards as payment for services.
What are the side effects of ADHD stimulants?
- Trouble sleeping
- Changes in appetite
- Weight loss
- High blood pressure
- Headaches and stomach pain
- Mood swings