This generation has neglected mental health over decades, owing mainly to busy schedules, lack of financial resources, denial, and the stigma attached to mental disorders.
However, the arrival of the Covid-19 pandemic completely transformed our way of living. Although the lockdown was a traumatic period for all of us, it did help in bringing the important aspects of life into focus, i.e., our mental health and the peace within.
People finally had the time to stop and reflect on their mental state, which led to the rate of mental disorder diagnoses going through the roof. Since no one was not allowed to leave their houses, the treatment was brought to them through digital methods.
Admittedly, the concept of digital mental well-being was initially viewed through skeptical eyes. However, the digital health market is currently estimated to grow up to 17% in the upcoming five years. From online therapy to meditation apps, thousands of online mental help/care alternatives have helped the patients tremendously.
In this article, we'll be talking about some of the best apps created to treat commonly diagnosed mental illnesses.
Let's start with the most commonly diagnosed mental disorder worldwide- depression. Depression is defined as "a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest, which stops you from doing your normal activities."
According to a survey conducted by WHO, around 5% of the adults around suffer from depression. It was also found that depression is a common cause of suicide.
Following are the best smartphone apps for the treatment of depression. Take a look:
CBT Guide to Depression Self-help: Mood Log, Diary
CBT Guide to Depression is a free app that offers help to its users based on CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) guides.
CBT is "one of the most evidence-based psychological interventions for the treatment of depression." If you get CBT, the chances of your mental health getting better are much higher, and the chances of you falling back into depression are much lower.
This application is available for free on Play Store for android users, with an impressive 4.4 stars rating. However, the app has not been launched on the App Store for iPhone users yet.
Happify is another digital well-being app that uses CBT, along with positive psychology and mindfulness, as one of its wellness techniques. The creators of Happify have taken a creative turn on this app by programming science-based games as therapy.
The main focus of happify is to help their users "reduce stress, overcome negative thoughts and build greater resilience." Happify has received 3.5 and 4.5 stars on Play Store and App Store, respectively.
Happify is available for Android and iPhone users for free (advanced features can only be accessed by buying a monthly subscription of $11.99).
Anxiety is another mental disorder that is very commonly found in adults and teenagers. This illness is characterized by feelings of worry or fear that are strong enough to interfere with one's daily activities. A few physical symptoms of anxiety are sweating, pounding heart, restlessness, hyperventilation, trembling, nausea, headache, weakness, and fatigue.
Keep in mind that it is normal to experience mild anxiety every once in a while. A few anxiety-inducing events are exams, performances, arguments, or financial problems.
However, if those feelings linger for an unusually extended time period, you might be suffering from an anxiety disorder. The most common anxiety disorders are PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder), panic attacks, and OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
If you are feeling that your anxiety is out of proportion lately, read on to learn about a couple of smartphone apps that can help you with the same.
Mindshift CBT- Anxiety Relief
Mindshift is a CBT-based app that targets anxiety, especially in teenagers and new adults. Mindshift helps its patients reduce worry, stress, and panic by applying evidence-based strategies.
Thought journals, fear ladders, and comfort zone challenges are some of the interesting activities offered in Mindshift CBT- Anxiety Relief.
Mindshift CBT is available free of cost for both android and iPhone users. It has also received 4.1- and 4.3-stars ratings on Play Store and App Store.
Self-help Anxiety Management
SAM has taken a completely different approach compared to other self-help apps by abiding by its name: self-help management.
The app contains 25 different coping mechanisms to help the users with the mental and physical symptoms of anxiety. Users can make a personalized anxiety toolkit, adding only the features that they find helpful to track their anxious thoughts and behavior over time.
For additional support, a user can also use SAM's Social Cloud feature that helps all the users connect confidentially in an online community and share their experiences.
SAM has received a 4-stars rating on App Store and can be accessed from Play Store as well.
ADHD (Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is commonly diagnosed during childhood and lasts well into adulthood.
Children diagnosed with ADHD have a typically short attention span. They are also hyperactive, i.e., are almost always moving. That includes running or pacing with no other goal than motion. Lastly, they have an impulsive streak; they often rush into actions without thinking about the consequences.
If you've been diagnosed with ADHD, read on to learn about a couple of apps that might help you in your daily activities.
As an ADHD patient, you might be prone to forgetting your tasks or getting distracted easily. Todoist is designed to help you with exactly that.
Once you've entered your task, you can set a due date on it, along with a priority level. There's an option to assign that task to one of your family members if you forget it.
If you've started using the app regularly, you can add themes, boards, and filters to your tasks to make them look more appealing. Furthermore, there's a progress board to keep track of how far you've come. All in all, you can make a project out of each of your tasks so that you never forget them.
Todoist has received 4.5- and 4.8-star ratings on Play Store and App Store, respectively.
Brain Focus is for those people who struggle with concentration, primarily including ADHD-diagnosed people.
In a nutshell, this app helps you utilize your screen time instead of using your phone as a distraction. It uses the Pomodoro technique to divide your focus time into your selected work apps and lock your distracting apps in the meantime.
It has received a shockingly high 4.8 stars rating on Play Store. However, Brain Focus has not yet been launched on the App Store for iPhone users.
Wrapping it up
If the pandemic has taught us one lesson, it's that a healthy mind space is a key to a content life. So, when the lockdown took away the option of one-on-one mental disorder treatments, people turned to technology for help; and technology certainly did not disappoint.
In this article, we've talked about three of the most common mental disorders today: depression, anxiety, and ADHD. The apps that we talked about today have worked wonders for many users and are all trustworthy. That being said, seeking professional help is the better option for you if you've just been diagnosed or if you're feeling like your condition is getting worse.