Mental health issues like anxiety and depression have been plaguing the population of the United States and much of the developed world for decades. All the while, technological advancements have made it possible for most people, all over the world, to own a smartphone. Smartphone apps that are designed to help you lose weight, lower high blood pressure, and control diabetes are common. Although apps designed for improving mental health are less common, their numbers are increasing dramatically.
Improving Anxiety and Depression
Smartphones can be great tools for fighting depression and anxiety if they are used in the right way. There are hundreds of apps designed for both Android and iOS operating systems that are helping with depression and anxiety, and many of them can be downloaded for free. They help their users cope with symptoms of anxiety and depression by having them:
- Play games that are designed to calm and soothe the mind
- Share their worries and concerns with others
- Cope with symptoms by performing distracting, repetitive actions
Treating Various Forms of Addiction
Although there is no substitute for medical treatment for alcohol or drug abuse, there are apps that can help people overcome various forms of addiction. Many of these will teach the user to manage stress through meditation and relaxing therapies that can be conducted through their smartphones. Others designed for treating alcoholism and nicotine addiction can help you cut back on your consumption of these addictive substances.
The added benefit of using smartphone technology for treating mental health disorders is their built-in monitoring and tracking features. Doctors at mental health facilities can keep in touch with their patients and be alerted to any strange or risky behaviors exhibited by their patients with some of these apps. Patients being treated for addiction can reach out to counselors outside of regular business hours with a few clicks.
Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) is just one kind of support group for addiction that has its own app. AA members can keep track of their progress through the 12-step process of addiction recovery in engaging and relaxing ways. Apps like these can truly be a lifeline of support for the millions of people suffering from and recovering from mental illness.
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