There are many ways to fight, control and prevent depression and mental disorders outside of going to see a therapist. Like eating healthy, having gratitude journal or doing exercise. Even if you use these methods, the most recommended way always will be a therapy session with a therapist.
Another way we must recognize among all of these is that the usage of digital tools to beat depression, anxiety and manage mental illnesses are on the rise and is going to play an important role in the future, this is not just me, but according to some experts too.
If you can’t afford to go to a therapist for whatever reason but still the help is much needed them there must be an app designed especially for you and your needs.
Today I want to share with you some of what I consider are the most useful apps to beat depression. I’ll not just refer and recommend you a bunch of apps to fight against depression, but instead, I’ll write about what I think are the top 3 apps based on the functionality, results you may get and free of usage.
Ease of Use = 3.6
Effectiveness = 3.3 (Education, Screening, Self-Monitoring, Treatment)
Personalize = 3.6
Interactive/Feedback = 2.6
Research Evidence = 1.3
Think of MindShift as the portable coach in your pocket who can help you to relax and rewrite your thinking in a more healthy way. It has a lot of resources to take charge of everything you need to do to confront anxiety, stress, and depression without the feeling of being alone in the process. In fact, many psychotherapists are starting to use it and test it with some of their patients with remarkable positive results.
Ease of Use = 4.6
Effectiveness = 3.6 (Education, Self-Monitoring, Treatment)
Personalization = 5
Interactive/Feedback = 4
Research Evidence = 1.6
It is called the #1 app to regulate your mood. It has daily tools to deal with anxiety, stress, and depression. The community of supportive and knowledgeable people inside Pacifica is awesome, they’ll remind you that you’re not fighting this fight alone with their stories and advice. It is also a good tool for teenagers and young adults that want to start using mindful meditation as a way to manage better their emotions.
Ease of use = 5
Effectiveness = 4
Personalization = 4
Interactive/Feedback = 4
Research Evidence for Treatment = 4
Research Evidence for the App = 1 (no research evidence)
Over time you can take the PHQ-9 questionnaire to know the severity of your depression and anxiety symptoms, it provides a remarkable amount of education in the matter of mental illnesses, different kind of treatments for depression, and a simple plan to ensure suicide safety.
MoodTools is very simple to use and the interface is easy to understand and navigate, the only thing I’ve found discouraging is that there’s no research made to develop all the treatments of this app besides the PHQ-9 questionnaire.
Note: The above ratings are from ADAA (Anxiety and Depression Association of America), go to this link to see the full scoop on all the apps rated on ADAA
Whether you use them or not, any app to fight against depression that helps you to track your progress will make you feel like you can actually get better. For those people who deal with anxiety and depression using these apps as a way to prevent their decline into a deeper state of the problem, they have been proved to be quite helpful and especially for young adults and teenagers and this is due to the constant use of smartphones in their lives.
In our portable devices, we can now carry with us all we need to soothe, prevent and fight any mental disorder. Also, you can find any kind of stress therapy, be it mindfulness relaxation techniques, CBT (cognitive behavior therapy), meditation, or chat communities for online therapy.
Other mental disorders that can be dealt with these mental-mood apps are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), dysthymia, schizophrenia, generalized anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
I think designing apps for the recovery of mental illnesses is a great way to blend technology and mental issues to help solve the rising problem we are facing against them. It is common sense that you don’t have to use them all, but the one that makes more sense to you because fits you better.