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Friday, January 13, 2017

Can an App Ease Your Anxiety?

Mobile technology may seem like the last resort when it comes to caring for your mental health, but new research shows that a smartphone app may in fact help relieve anxiety and depression.

Researchers tested a suite of 14 free mini-apps, collectively known as IntelliCare, designed by Northwestern clinicians and based on current psychology techniques used by therapists. After eight weeks, the 96 participants (who all had elevated symptoms of anxiety or depression) decreased their symptoms by 50 percent. This level of improvement is comparable to in-person therapy or taking antidepressant medication, say researchers.

The apps, currently available on GooglePlay, offers easy-to-follow exercises to help users sleep better, build self-confidence, unwind and de-stress, tame self-criticism and worry, discover greater meaning in life and more. They include: 
  • Daily Feats, which allows users to add worthwhile and rewarding activities to their day
  • Purple Chill, which includes audio recordings and guided exercises
  • Slumber Time
  • My Mantra
"We designed these apps so they fit easily into people's lives and could be used as simply as apps to find a restaurant or directions," lead author David Mohr, PhD, director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in a press release. "Using digital tools for mental health is emerging as an important part of our future."

Currently, there are over 165,000 health apps on the market, many of them targeting mental health, according to Huffington Post

Dual Diagnosis Treatment for Young Adults
At Hope Academy, we conduct a series of tests upon admission to determine if mental illness is complicating substance abuse. Once we gain a comprehensive understanding of each patient’s individual health challenges, our addiction treatment team develops a customized program. To learn more, call 866-930-4673.

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