Accessing a therapist can be as simple as pulling out your phone.
Since a quarter of Americans are diagnosed with a mental illness and admit to seeking professional help, there are several smartphone applications that can help the coping process.
Whether you’re looking for something to boost your mood or a serious guide for an emotional condition, there are a variety of apps that serve as “surrogate therapists.”
While counselors advise against solely using technology over professional one-on-one care, they do believe that the apps can be a supplemental tool.
"You can definitely utilize and capitalize on the smartphone technology to create tools that people have with them all the time," said Kristen Mulcahy, a psychologist in Falmouth, Massachusetts.
Mulcahy developed a free app catering to those suffering from obsessive compulsive disorder equipped with comprehensive tools for children and adults. The app, available on the iPad and iPhone helps reduce the anxiety experienced when they feel repetitive behaviors coming on. For example, a patient can use the tool to measure how long they can go without checking a door lock repeatedly when leaving the house. If they give in during the time allotted, they have to hit the “Just Gave In” button.
The app also emails charts of a patient’s progress to their therapist.
"It holds (patients) a lot more accountable, because they know I'm going to be able to see everything they are or aren't doing," Mulcachy said. “The price tag is steep at $79.99, but it may help patients cut back on their more expensive in-person sessions a lot faster.”
Another app developed by University of Texas Medical School psychiatrist Dr. Rakesh Jain helps monitor fluctuating moods. The app known as MoodyMe allows users to take photos depicting a mood such as “manic”, “excellent” and “depressed” while tagging them with a list of relevant words describing the event or action that triggered their mood. Users can also share their photos with friends, list the type of medication they are taking, and use the “Ask a Doctor” feature for advice on a particular condition or disorder. The app comes with graphs illustrating mood patterns.
Since some studies have linked depression to body weight, Dr. Jain recommends that his patients use the BMI by Nutrisystem app to watch their weight. He also advises that they use the LiveHappy app which offers activities that can boost positive thinking including the “Best Possible Self,” the “Gratitude Journal,” and the “Replay Happy Days” activity.
"It is extremely scientifically based and (an) unusually powerful app," Dr. Jain said.
The smartphone market provides apps that help detect disorders such as “depressioncheck” and apps that connect people living with disorders such as “Bipolar Disorder Connect.”
The National Center for Telehealth and Technology, a division of the U.S. Department of Defense has also developed a range of mental illness applications that offer aid to veterans and military members. Apps such as PTSD Coach and Tactical Breather were created in partnership with the VA’s National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder to offer information about the condition, as well as tips on anger management and relaxation exercises.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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