By On August 8th, 2013

Can an App Help You With Mental Stress?

Smartphone IconWe live in an age where there seems to literally be an app for anything you desire. Whether you want to check the day’s weather, shop, play games, or need GPS, you will always be able to find what you need in the app store. While there are plenty of entertaining apps, there are also applications designed specifically for helping you live healthy, both in mind and spirit.

The mental health apps, like most apps, require a smartphone or tablet to access, though some are recreated on the web and others are restricted to only one type of phone (Apple vs. Android.) They all also have unique features and abilities to help those suffering with mental health issues, though it should be noted that none of these tools can provide a surefire diagnosis or treatment plan. Only a trained counselor or mental health professional can do that.

What they can do is allow individuals to create accounts and track their symptoms, triggers, mood, and health strategies on a daily basis. This way users can keep track of long-term progress and patterns, as well as problem areas. Having this on the smartphone makes it easy to keep comprehensive records of when and how things occurred. They essentially function like journals, but they are easier to update and access. Mental Health Grace Alliance shared five that are available in both Android and Apple app stores.

  1. Optimism – This app isn’t aimed at any specific diagnosis or disorder, but it allows users to daily track their progress as well as seeing long term progress and charting. You can also set short-term and long-term goals so you can see your accomplishments. They also offer a demo of the app for free on their desktop website at www.optimismonline.com.
  2. PTSD Coach – Obviously aimed at post-traumatic stress disorder patients, this app comes with self-assessment and educational tools about PTSD. If their assessment or your behavior makes you believe you might be in need or professional help or immediate support, the app also included contact information for reliable resources.
  3. eCBT – This app focuses on helping depression patients work through the principles of CBT and manage their depression symptoms. It costs $0.99 cents, but it features symptom trackers, progress charts, and daily or weekly status reports.
  4. Stress Tracker – This app is a very simple tool to help recognize and manage stress, with identification, map, and tracking tools. It also provides simple tips for trying to manage stress and lowering stress level.
  5. MoodPanda – MoodPanda is another simple mood tracking app which comes with mood calendars and diaries that can be put into graphs to track your long-term patterns. It is available online and on smartphones for free.

While these apps can help you manage any mental health stress or illness you are dealing with, they are not considered a diagnostic tool or treatment plan. It is a tool to help work towards progress with the help of a professional mental health counselor. There are also many apps available to interact with scripture and find religious support or information so that you may stay spiritually and mentally healthy at the same time.

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