NEW YORK (CBS) Mental health professionals are concerned many people are struggling with anxiety and depression because of isolation and social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic. New research from Northwestern Medicine suggests technology might help.
The study looked at a collection of free mobile apps called “IntelliCare,” which offer short exercises to de-stress, reduce worrying and give strategies to keep up with everyday activities.
“Anxiety and depression were significantly reduced among people who use the apps, compared to people who got treatment for their depression and anxiety solely from their primary care provider,” said Dr. David Mohr, the study author and director of the Center for Behavioral Intervention Technologies at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “Rather than just focusing on education, we’re really focusing on skills, on trying to help people change the things that they’re doing in their lives.”
Mohr’s advice for anyone having a hard time right: “One thing to try to do is to create routines. We all do better when we have a little bit of structure to our lives. Try to incorporate kindness into your daily lives.”
Doctors say technology should not be a replacement for treatment. If you find yourself, family, or friends struggling, it’s important to seek help from a health care provider.