The prevalence of anxiety disorders has increased in the last decade , and experts warn that in the case of children and adolescents stress is increasing alarmingly. The Spanish Association of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AEPNYA) states that this increase will have a great impact on adult psychiatric diseases in the next decade.
Types of Anxiety Disorders
Actually, anxiety is something we’ve all felt at some point in our lives. It is a normal emotion, which is even adaptive . Just before an important exam, for example, anxiety can manifest itself. Anxiety often appears in situations of stress and uncertainty.
However, when anxiety causes some degree of functional impairment in the life of the individual who suffers it, affecting the different areas of his life (for example, work, interpersonal relationships, etc), what is known as an anxiety disorder is diagnosed. There are different types of anxiety disorders: Panic Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Social Phobia, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Agoraphobia and Specific Phobia.
Apps to Treat Anxiety
Along with the increasing prevalence of anxiety disorders, new technologies have also been developing. This has led psychology experts to attempt to merge their knowledge of mind and behavior with technological advances. For example, the novel Virtual Reality Therapy.
However, there are technological advances that are more within our reach than Virtual Reality Therapy. A clear example is the applications for smartphones . In recent years, apps have appeared for mobiles that aim to reduce the symptoms of anxiety. Although they are not useful for serious cases, they can be effective for less severe cases.
Although these applications are not a substitute for a psychologist, below you can find a list of 15 apps to treat anxiety .
One of the characteristics of anxiety is that it can come without warning, often suddenly. That’s why Psonríe is very useful , because it can be used on the spot. This online platform allows you to obtain psychological assistance at a distance without having to make an appointment, in real time. It’s as easy as downloading your app, creating a user profile, and logging in at any time to select a psychologist who can help us without delay.
The psychological assistance sessions can be by call or by messenger, and last 20 minutes, so the use of Psonríe hardly generates problems to balance schedules or lack of availability.
To learn more about Psonrie, please visit their website: www.psonrie.com.
PsicoReg is one of the most useful applications for both psychotherapists and patients . It allows, among other things, to store relaxation audios, to create self-instructions to be applied in moments of anxiety crises, and to maintain communication between the psychologist and the patient.
In addition, it is designed so that people can write down in the application and create self-records of how they feel, very useful for having data to analyze in therapy.
3. Worry Watch
Anxiety often manifests itself by imagining negative and unrealistic future scenarios. Worry Watch is an app whose purpose is to enable the handling of irrational and unjustified worries or thoughts. It has a diary that helps track the user’s concerns , including what he thought might happen and how the situation actually ended.
As you increase your use of the application, you can monitor trends and learn from your patterns of worry and anxiety. By observing one’s own thoughts and the actual consequences, one begins to be aware that these thoughts are, in many cases, irrational.
4. Worry Box
Worry Box means box of worries. This app was created to help people deal with worry and learn how to effectively manage this paralyzing emotion. When we are faced with this kind of worry, the app gives us a list of coping expressions to help us rethink our thoughts. It also includes relaxation audios to help induce calm.
5. What’s up?
In the treatment of anxiety it is very important to be aware that one suffers from this psychological phenomenon, and thus understand how one’s thoughts affect one’s emotions and behaviors. This can make the difference between having a panic attack and approaching your fear and worry rationally with a more open mind. In other words, it is key to learn how to manage this phenomenon and to reduce the intensity of its symptomatology .
This application uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to instruct its users on how to identify negative thought patterns and sources of anxiety. It features breathing techniques, habit and anxiety monitors, positive quotes, forums and even a game.
When you suffer from anxiety, you may feel tied to your constant thoughts of worry and fear. Mindshift tries to help users reduce these thoughts . She does this through her diary, her symptom monitor and the relaxation tips that she provides to manage a difficult situation. These guided tips focus on anxiety, fears and phobias, and confidence.
7. Stress Doctor
More than Stress Doctor, this application should be called Stress Psychologist. It is an app useful for people who regularly face panic and anxiety attacks , which uses the Cognitive Behavioral Therapy approach to help users rethink their destructive thought patterns that can lead to or worsen their anxiety. It offers breathing exercises, an anxiety diary, and other options.
A mindfulness-based application with mindfulness and meditation techniques to help manage stress and anxiety, improve well-being and be happier in general. The guided meditations are designed to train the brain in just 10 minutes a day, with the ability to record progress and help practice self-pity , along with a buddy system so that one can stay motivated and help others do the same.
9. Nature Sounds Relax and Sleep
Relaxation can be difficult when someone is suffering from anxiety. However, the sound of nature can help you relax and sleep better . This application was created to help users find calm. The different options include waterfall, night in the jungle, sounds of birds and thunder. The application can also be used as an alarm.
10. Anxiety Free
High levels of stress can make anxiety symptoms worse, so stress management techniques are often recommended for people with anxiety. The Anxiety Free application uses self-hypnosis techniques to help decrease stress and reduce feelings of anxiety. The lessons are guided and developed by Donald Mackinnon and last 90 minutes each.
Learning to manage anxiety requires, first of all, knowing how to recognize it. With this mood tracking application, you simply enter how you feel at any time of day and you can use these entries to track and identify patterns of behaviour and thinking .
12. Self Help for Anxiety Management
This app can help you manage anxiety symptoms. It is a self-help tool for the management of this disorder, which starts from a holistic vision for its treatment.
In the app you will find an anxiety tracking tool, relaxation instructions, a treatment guide and a community to interact with. There are also interactive relaxation features you can use to learn how to better manage your emotions and physical reactions .
13. Sleep Time
Anxiety insomnia is common in situations where a person is stressed or has excessive worries. Sleeping well can make the difference between having a good day and a bad day. Sleep Time allows you to sleep with environmental and relaxing sounds . It also allows you to track your sleep patterns and provides you with information on the quality of your sleep hygiene.
This application is easy to use. Developed by the National Center for Telehealth & Technology, this app guides us through diaphragmatic breathing (or “belly breathing”) and allows us to record and memorize our own stress level. It also offers informative videos about the consequences of stress.
15. PTSD Coach
Created by the National Center for PSTD, this app is intended for those suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD Coach is a self-assessment tool that links users to support groups.