While some people may think technology is part of the reason for our country’s mental health issues, others see it as a benefit to healing these same issues.
Technology has made online therapy available.
This makes it easier for homebound people to receive the treatment they need without the burden of finding a ride or struggling with their handicap such as a wheelchair that can be hard to maneuver at a counseling office.
Technology has made getting help available and accessible 24 hours a day.
There is no more waiting until 9am when the counselor’s office opens. It is convenient, consistent and offers support by a wide array of resources. Technology has made it possible for you to research your own symptoms to find out if your symptoms are strong enough to seek treatment.
Because of the enormous amount of information available online, you can print your symptoms and take them into the doctor, taking the pressure of having to verbally describe everything in person. A lot of information can get lost in translation.
Many practitioners are utilizing technology to help a patient prepare for a visit.
You can now download patient enrollment papers, scan and email patient history information and pay your co-pays online.
Downloadable Apps are becoming a huge part of therapy, offering people who suffer with mental health disorders techniques and tools to implement in between times they are in therapy. These apps are focused solely on improving the mental health of its users.
Here are just a few apps you might want to check out this weekend.
Not every bout with anxiety happens during office hours.
Some happen at midnight on Saturday, the same weekend there is no on-call therapist to reach out to. Well, there are apps changing how you can get help in times like that.
The Mayo Clinic created this app to help people suffering from anxiety. Traditional cognitive behavioral therapies are used within the app. Anxiety Coach lets you assess your level of anxiety, from severe to manageable.
It also teaches you ways to overcome your fears, tracking your anxiety and viewing your progress.
The name of this app implies it will teach you how to be more optimistic.
In a way, that is exactly what it can do. It is no secret that positive thinking can lead to decreases in feeling sad or anxious.
This app was invented to help people struggling with a variety of mental health issues. Some of these disorders include anxiety, depression, bipolar and post-traumatic stress disorder. Optimism allows you to track your moods to help you identify your triggers and your coping mechanisms to increase your overall awareness of your own mental health needs.
Live OCD Free
Some question whether using an app to help treat obsessive compulsive disorder is the right thing to do.
But if it can help, why not give it a try? People suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder could benefit from additional therapies in times when their therapist is not available. This can help them live more independently.
Apps like Mood Kit hold a wealth of information and activities to boost your mood and help you feel less depressed.
With this app, you can track and monitor your moods, use charts and sync your information with your iOS calendar. No more writing in a journal and then re-writing on your calendar. This app does all the work for you so you can see how you felt on particular days and why.
Bipolar Disorder Connect
Having bipolar disorder is difficult enough.
Trying to cope with the disorder on your own is setting yourself up for failure.
Bipolar Disorder Connect conquers that obstacle and allows you to connect with other bipolar groups that are already in existence on social media outlets. This app has been described as “life changing”.
Similar to the app for bipolar, Prime connects people who suffer from schizophrenia with other people suffering from and recovery from schizophrenia.
Its goal is to decrease isolation and increase peer support and positive encouragement and feedback.
GPS for the Soul
This app has two big names associated with its invention, Ariana Huffington and Deepak Chopra.
They are gurus in the fields of improving your mind and body. They created this app to help you reduce stress. Stress seems to be the culprit of many physical and mental problems.
GPS for the Soul uses biofeedback to assess your stress and offers tools such as meditation and music to help you relax.
If you are suffering from attention deficit disorder, with or without hyperactivity, this app can help you learn to focus and avoid distractions.
Focus@Will is based on neuroscience research and offers over 50 music channels designed to help you relax, stay on task, and stop procrastinating.
Those struggling with eating disorders may need an extra tool to put in their mental health toolbox and this app is a great one to try.
Recovery Road lets you track your meals and the feelings or emotions associated with those meals.
You can also communicate with others on your recovery team through this app. No, you cannot communicate with others who will give you ideas on how to continue your disorder, only helpful people who want to see you succeed and overcome this obstacle in your life.
There are hundreds of apps available, one for just about every mental health disorder.
Some are great and truly beneficial. Some are terrible and do more harm than good. You need help determining the right app for you.
Your counselor is the best person to help you decide on which app is best for you.
Apps are not designed to replace traditional therapy.
They are only meant to enhance your therapeutic process. Try them out together, evaluate them intensely and evaluate your progress. Find the one that works best for you and then do the most important thing of all, use it.
Don’t just let it sit in your download folder on your phone. Apps can only be effective if you open them and use them on a regular basis.
So, go for it!
Find the app that will assist you in your recovery.