The key points of a mental health professional’s work with any type of mental disorder include, but certainly are not limited to, three goals. The first goal is to help a patient accept their disorder as a chemical imbalance or brain dysfunction without blaming it (like no one is to blame for having asthma, for example). The second is to assure the patient that there is a way to recover or live with their condition. Finally, the third goal is to show this path and guide your patient.
Mobile applications for patients it can help with these three goals and significantly support the work done by mental health professionals. Let’s take a look at the types of applications that can become an indispensable part of mental illness therapy.
Mood tracking apps
Mental illness is often accompanied by mood swings that can completely derail a person’s life. To gain control of these changes, it is important to know the individual patterns that drive them. But first, a person should recreate and see through these patterns. This is what mood tracking apps help.
The basic idea of such mental health applications is a digital mood diary that collects patient entries over time and displays mood statistics in the form of various graphs for a comfortable analysis with a therapist. Entries can also take many forms and be as simple or as elaborate as the user and a mental health professional agree. For example, the app may ask a person to choose an emoticon that best illustrates their current mood. Alternatively, you can give a list of 10 pairs of antonyms that describe feelings and emotions and ask a person to choose the most related of each pair.
To ensure the consistency of the data, the application can remind its user to make an entry in a certain period of time. In this way, information will be collected gradually and effectively so that a patient and a therapist can work later.
Emergency mental self-care applications
Sometimes mood swings can lead to dangerous emotional spikes and falls. These radical mood swings can lead to manic episodes, panic attacks, self-harm impulses, or even suicidal thoughts. Because these episodes are recurrent and can also be very frequent, patients may feel like they are a burden to their therapist or loved ones and will stop asking for help when they need it most.
However, the patient’s danger and anguish remain, so in addition to reassuring them so that they always come to the aid of others, a therapist may suggest the use of an application of emergency self-care. You can recall the causes behind the episode by showing textual or visual explanations created for a patient by their mental health care professional. That way, a person will remember that their behavior is a mental “mistake” they have to endure.
The app may also contain individual techniques that will help a patient cope with their episode more easily. With the help of interactive messaging, an app can guide a patient through the steps to overcome a panic attack or resist a self-harm impulse. Having at least this type of backup on a mobile device can give a person an extra boost of confidence and peace of mind and even prevent a fatal decision.
Remote group support / therapy applications
Many people with mental disorders tend to distance themselves from their friends and family. However, this isolation amounts to locking yourself in a room full of viruses and letting the dysfunctional mind reinforce its bad and bad influence. Any therapist would do their best to explain this to a patient and ask them to communicate regularly with others, but providing a convenient tool for supportive communication may be a more effective alternative.
A mobile app can offer two types of remote contact, and mental patients will be able to benefit from both. The first is the possibility of contacting a mental health professional. Whether it’s a regular telemedicine e-visit or an emergency session, the mobile app ensures a secure and reliable audio / video connection. These apps may also have text chat windows for patients who feel uncomfortable talking live.
The second option is a virtual group chat that connects patients suffering from the same disease and trying to find a way to recover. The peace of mind that they are not alone in their struggles can help mentally ill patients feel less weak and vulnerable.
Addiction tracking applications
Many types of addictions are classified as mental health problems: after all, it is the mind that fixes on a certain pattern of behavior. In addition, addiction can sometimes stem from the irrational belief that the habit is not bad or that breaking it can be dangerous.
Tracking applications can help a patient recognize their habits, find out their causes and consequences, as well as record the number of their impulses and the times or days when they may have resisted them. In addition to understanding that they are taking steady steps toward recovery, patients can enjoy gamification elements of these applications that will allow them to gain virtual rewards for their progress.
Meditation applications can be used more generally, but are also useful in combination with emergency care applications. These apps can provide effective stress management and relaxation tips prepared by mental health professionals. They may also contain manuals of breathing techniques as well as relaxation or meditation audio sessions that will be helpful for those suffering from anxiety, insomnia or OCD.
Application all in one
A universal solution would be an application that has all the features mentioned above. Because none of the features are complex to implement, this app can remain lightweight and easy to navigate while offering multiple functional possibilities.
On a final note
Many mentally ill people try to cope with their condition on their own, but whether or not they succeed is not a matter of “strength”. Pure willpower can heal neither a broken bone nor a broken mind.
Mental health applications can help therapists take their services to the next level and allow patients to have better control over their daily lives. With these mobile apps, the mentally ill can keep track of their mood swings and addiction needs, as well as get support in any way they find comfortable, from impersonal communication with the app to connecting with other people struggling with the same disorders.