Anxiety and Depression can be very debilitating conditions. One leaves the sufferer without the motivation to get out of bed in the morning and the other can spell disaster for normal day to day functioning. As our understanding of these conditions has improved so have the treatment methods. In the 1800s the accepted understanding of depression and anxiety was that it was an inherited temperament of weakness and could not be treated. These days, treatment ranges from cognitive behavioral therapy to pharmaceutical drugs.
The increase in technology, especially the power of smartphones, has resulted in applications that aim to help those suffering from depression and anxiety deal with their conditions. Here we will look at the top mobile applications for dealing with depression and anxiety.
Meditation has been shown to help with both depression and anxiety. The issue is, most people do not know how to begin and do not know how to direct their meditative practices towards healing their depression or anxiety. This is where headspace comes in. “Headspace meditation sessions are led by a former monk and strive to increase happiness, productivity, and reduce reaction to anxiety triggers,” writes Jane Fedun, a psychology writer at Last Minute Writing and Writinity. The application has a 4.9 rating on the iPhone store.
Even though there is still much mystery surrounding some of the scientific questions about sleep everyone knows you need it. It becomes quite apparent how missing just 2 hours of one’s normal sleep period can affect an individual’s mood and disposition. The Sleep Time app tracks one’s sleeping time and cycles. When used over time it can provide the user with an overview of what time they are usually the most restless and which hours they get the best sleep. The application also comes with an alarm clock and a soundscape feature. Sleep Time currently has a 4.7-star rating on the iPhone app store.
This app is more geared toward those suffering from anxiety and anxiety-related conditions. The app has received lots of positive feedback from users who say its’ physiological techniques help them control bouts of anxiety. “Rootd teaches people mindfulness exercises, the most important of which include an instructional of deep breathing practices. These breathing exercises have been shown to reduce the severity of anxiety attacks.” writes Jason Kreider, a health blogger at Draftbeyond and Researchpapersuk.
The application also includes an emergency contact feature that one can use in the event of an anxiety or panic attack. The feature can be programmed to call a relative, friend, or helpline. On top of this, the app allows one to track the number of attacks they have had in total and the number they were able to overcome. This allows the user to see progress month by month. The app currently has a 4.6 rating on the iPhone store.
Stop Breathe And Think
This app is enjoyed by many because of the way it interacts with users. Upon opening the application the user will be prompted to provide input on their current mood and how they are feeling. The app will select and recommend from its database breathing exercises, yoga techniques, or meditation exercises that it believes can help the user. Stop Breathe and Think also tracks one’s mood input so the user can track their mental state over long periods of time.
Dare – Break Free From Anxiety
This application is quite a bit different from the others. Whereas the previous applications try and pull a user away from the negative mental state of depression or anxiety, Dare intends on helping individuals sit through an anxiety attack and face their triggers. It does this by offering audio recordings and visuals one can focus on as the episode if occurring. Instead of trying to calm down the individual it helps them “ride it out”.
Both depression and anxiety can have crippling effects on those who suffer from the conditions. They can impede an individual from living a normal, healthy life as well as cause pain and suffering for those who care for them. As previously mentioned, our understanding of how to treat and manage these conditions has grown greatly, especially over the last three decades. Mobile applications are another tool that sufferers can use as they seek relief.