Assess, monitor and combat depression with these iPhone apps

Dec 14, 2009
Health

Depression disorders affect more than 14 million American adults, or 6.7 percent of the population over the age of 18 in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people ages 15 to 44 years old, and is more prevalent […]

Depression disorders affect more than 14 million American adults, or 6.7 percent of the population over the age of 18 in a given year, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It is the leading cause of disability in the United States for people ages 15 to 44 years old, and is more prevalent in women than in men.

Treatment for depression, which can range for moderate to severe, includes diet, exercise, psychotherapy and prescription drugs, among others.

Given the statistics and the serious nature of the issue, the range of depression-related iPhone apps was somewhat underwhelming. Still, there are several good options for individuals who might be struggling with depression, or trying to help someone who is.

iPhone apps for self-assessment

The Sad Scale app (99 cents) breaks its depression questionnaires into four categories – Depression Scale, Depression Scale for Children, Post Partum Scale and Geriatric Scale. It takes just a few minutes to complete the questions, and then provides a basic diagnosis. If needed, the user is directed to see a doctor.

Similarly, the Depression Test & Tracker iPhone app ($1.99) walks the user through a depression-related questionnaire. This app, however, allows you to email the results of the assessment, as well as track your mood day-to-day. 

If the exhibited symptoms do not match those of depression, check the Mental Illness app (free) to conduct additional research.

iPhone apps for monitoring and treatment

The Moodifi app ($1.99) is a more sophisticated and user-friendly mood journal. Its functions include a medication tracker, as well as a modifiable list of support people (family, friends) that the use can refer to if feeling particularly bad.

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If you are looking to address your depression, or help someone address their depression head on, download the Depression & Stress Therapist ($1.99). While this iPhone app is absolutely NOT a substitute for a mental health professional, it does provide multiple depression relief options. These include relaxation exercises, nurturing activities, physical fitness activities and thought modification. In addition, it lets you log and track all of your efforts.

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Megan O'Neil

Megan O'Neil is a journalist and freelance writer in Los Angeles. When she isn't lounging at the beach or socializing in the Hollywood Hills, she writes for the Park Labrea New/Beverly Press newspaper and the Los Angeles Times Community News Group.

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