Innovative Mobile Phone Apps Can Help You Battle Depression and Stress!
In an effort to help those in the UK who are battling depression and stress, the NHS is currently launching some innovative new mobile phone apps. This is a new generation in apps for healthcare developed to help mobile phone users cope.
Now, even general practitioners will have the ability to prescribe mobile phone apps to their patients who are wary of facing a mental health counsellor. Some people are reluctant to go to a doctor at all, so it is the belief of health chiefs that millions of people will benefit from such apps as these.
NHS’ Digital Tsar’s Assessment
Often referred to as the ‘digital heath tsar’ of the government, Tim Kelsey stated that he would like to produce an app store endorsed by the NHS with apps specifically for mental health patients. These apps would be made available on the website, NHS Choices.
Kelsey did agree that a number of people would question the effectiveness of digital screens and whether in-person therapy would be better. He stated that it is not a matter of either-or, as patients would have the option to go to counselling if they wanted to.
Depression Is a Global Epidemic
An estimated 350 million people on a global level suffer depression, according to the World Health Organisation. They state that depression is the number one disability globally and contributes significantly to “the burden of disease.”
In the worst case scenario, it is know that suicide can result from depression and further estimates from the World Health Organisation indicate that approximately one million global deaths annually can be attributed to suicide.
Depression Alters the Perception of Time
According to Johannes Gutenberg University’s Dr Daniel Oberfeld-Twistel, depression alters a psychiatric patient’s perception of time. For those suffering from severe depression, time only slowly creeps forward, or is described as being in slow motion.
He goes on to state that patients’ perception of the passage of time differs from the actual ability to assess the real length of events. Dr Oberfeld-Twistel’s team observed the differences between 485 people who were not depressed as measured against 433 who were depressed.
In a total of 16 separate studies, the team asked participants their estimation of duration for specified periods of time. His team found a number of other issues in time perception amongst depressed individuals which need further study before findings can be conclusive.
In conclusion, he stated that additional studies will need to focus on subjective perception versus a patient’s real ability to measure an estimated passage of time. Further, there is little information regarding how anti-depressant drugs affect the perception of time or whether there are differences in time perception between non-bipolar and bipolar psychiatric disorders.