There are millions of Americans suffering from a mental health disorder. There are various treatments for this condition. However, some people can’t seek professional help because up until now, there is still stigma associated with mental illness.
The developments in technology have made it possible for medical experts with the help of medical manufacturing solutions to come up with mental health apps. These apps can be downloaded in smartphones or tablets either for free or with payment if you want to access their full service. Mental health apps can be used to monitor mental health symptoms like depression, anxiety, etc. The apps include BetterHelp, Headspace, TalkLife, etc. Even though these apps can be of great help to many people, they may not be of great help for people with severe conditions.
The pros of mental health apps
For patients seeking therapy for depression or anxiety, they may face some kind of waiting list for a therapist. Moreover, therapy is expensive, especially if the facility doesn’t take your insurance. But with mental apps, they are free, or they cost less.
Therapy requires scheduling a block of time, either weekly or biweekly, but with your Smartphone, you can schedule a session whenever you please. Symptoms of mental illness can pop up late in the night when you can’t access a therapist. But your Smartphone operates 24/7 so long as it is recharged.
- Anonymity and consistency
The mental health services on your phone are completely confidential. Although therapists are obliged to keep your information private, the mental health apps don’t require communicating with another person directly.
While psychiatrists and therapists are highly trained professionals, there can be that slight variability from one patient to another. Mental health apps, on the other hand, offer the same treatment to each user according to their programming.
- Readily available information
Mental health apps provide services like information about your condition, activities, and even the therapist who can provide you with immediate help. You can also get information on coping strategies and a diary to record your progress.
Cons of mental health apps
- They lack experimental evidence
Compared to other types of self-help intervention, mental health apps lack experimental evidence. A good app should be scientifically credible and evidence-based. Mental health apps lack clinical trials that show efficacy. They don’t allow for evaluation to take place, and if it was to take place, it would be a long process involving several tasks. The process takes time and resources. Since new mental health apps are continually coming out, and they also don’t require clinical studies, it makes it hard for the scientists to keep up.
- They can lead to over-reliance
There are mental health apps that offer unreasonable results. People should be wary of them because mental health treatment takes time and is more involved. If these apps users become over-reliant on them, they are less likely to seek professional help.