Category Archive: Apps

Jan 21

Facebook Friends May Save Your Life

Facebook friends may help you live longer. This is the surprising result of a recent study that received a lot of attention, and which some of you may have thought was a marketing ploy. However, the study was published in the prestigious journal the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Here is a summary of …

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Dec 10

Depression and Reward Insensitivity

Why do some people get depressed and what can be done about it? Studies of brain response to rewards suggests that there is a strong link between depression and reward insensitivity. People who are at risk of depression literally don’t react to rewards in  same way as other people. A large study of adolescent girls without …

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Nov 26

Technology and Bipolar

Colin Depp recently gave a presentation on technology and bipolar as part of the excellent International Society for Bipolar Disorders monthly (free) video lecture series. You can find out information about these video lectures on the ISBD website. I encourage you to sign up to get updates. Back to Dr. Depp’s lecture. He discussed a number of …

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Aug 21

Smartphone Mood Tracking Startup

One of the most powerful ways of improving the outcomes of psychiatric treatment for depression is mood tracking, but for many reasons keeping detailed and daily records of mood changes is difficult and relatively few people in treatment use this technique. We’ve written before about significant evidence that suggests that smartphones can provide data automatically …

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Jul 19

Sleep Apps Reviewed by the New York Times

Apps to monitor and improve sleep were recently reviewed in the New York Times. Using an app to try to improve your sleep is a strategy that many people try. Some have found that it can be helpful in the long run, and it helps to use a well designed program. The New York Times reviewed …

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Jul 17

Online Therapy for Insomnia Reduces Depression

“If only I could get a good night’s sleep my mood would be much better.” Many people who suffer from chronic depression are aware of the relationship between the quality of their sleep and their levels of mood and anxiety. A study published in the April 2016 addition of the British journal, Lancet Psychiatry, supports …

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Feb 23

Kip Health – App for Collaboration

This week one of my fellow psychiatrists in San Francisco and one of my patients both suggested that I check out Kip Health, startup designed to improve collaboration between patients and their mental health providers. The App is in beta and so it is bound to change over time. For example, right now it is …

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Nov 26

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for Bipolar

Mindfulness for Bipolar

Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy for bipolar may reduce anxiety and bolster emotional stability As with many psychiatric disorders, bipolar disorder isn’t impossible to treat but it has its own unique and unremitting way of seriously wearing down a patient’s resolve. Mindfulness based cognitive therapy (MBCT) for bipolar joins a handful of therapies that can help. …

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Nov 07

Apps and Links Updated

Apps and Links Updated

I have just been a couple of hours updating the apps and links page on this site. There are a lot more choices for mood charting including many more that are available on both android and iPhone. I’ve also been using three different apps concurrently for the last two months to get a sense of what …

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Oct 17

Self Affirmations by Songify

Songify Self Affirmations

A good friend and colleague suggested a new technique for “self affirmations.” A technique which makes something that can seem ponderous, but is also a powerful technique for positive change, seem like a lot more fun… Self affirmations are things that you tell yourself about yourself and the world. In psychological terms, they are about …

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Sep 26

Mind Maps and Post Its

MindMeister Mind Map of Productivity

Stuck with a problem that you can’t figure out? Having trouble generating ideas? One of the things that the mind is very good at is coming up with potential pitfalls. And all of us have found ourselves trapped with recurring negative thoughts that make it hard to do any creative thinking. Sometimes changing the process …

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May 26

Facebook Causes Depression

facebook causes depression

How Can Facebook Usage Cause Depression? Today, social technology is commonplace. It’s practically unavoidable, and we rarely think of it as something that is risky, but, rather, as useful or fun (…and maybe a little addictive). But social researchers at University of Houston and Palo Alto University have found evidence that social technologies, like Social …

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Mar 23

Attentional Bias Modification Prevents Depression

Attentional Bias Modification

A middle-aged nurse wrestling with depression said she want to do “everything” that she possibly could to improve her mood. She doesn’t have access to therapy through her insurance, and she’s already vigorously pursuing mindfulness practice, but her request reminded me of an article I recently read on Attentional Bias Modification as both a possible …

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Mar 03

Mindfulness Apps

Mindfulness Apps

Mindfulness apps have intrigued us for years. The New York Times recently two mindfulness apps. I was pleased to see that the ones they chose were the two apps that we find are the most popular these days: Headspace and Calm.com.  I’ve updated the webpage that lists a number of apps and links that you may …

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Jan 09

Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done

One of the perennial challenges for anyone with problems with depression or mood swings, and perhaps for anyone in our increasingly busy and frantic world, is how to not get overwhelmed by work and personal tasks.It is a challenge and we have historically relied on two sources of wisdom when we counsel people who are …

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Jun 06

App that Predicts Mania

There are smartphone apps for monitoring your diet, your drugs, even your heart. And now a Michigan psychiatrist, Melvin McInnis, is developing an app he hopes doctors will someday use to predict when a manic episode is imminent in patients with bipolar disorder. Manic episodes can come with a dangerous mix of increased energy and impaired judgment. “We …

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Apr 20

Managing Tasks without Pain

A young woman who is attending architecture school mentioned a sudden dip in mood that happened the previous evening.   She told me that this had to do with a day of working very hard to try to get tasks accomplished, and the anger and frustration at the end of the day when she hadn’t done as …

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Apr 01

Internet Therapies Generate Interest

There is increasing interest in “apps” that can support mental health (one of our most enthusiastic readers recently posted a query on this topic on the forum). Apps are rarely intended to deliver “therapy” – they are usually not written by mental health professionals (although mental health professionals may be consulted along the way). Their …

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Mar 15

Apps for MoodSurfing

While you are waiting for the official MoodSurfing app, you might want to check out the recently updated “Links and Apps” page on this blog. There I write about other websites with useful information, but also about apps for Android and iPhone that can help you create calm by adding a mindfulness practice, or track …

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Nov 28

Sleep Therapy and Depression

What would you do if you could double the effectiveness of your antidepressants? Let’s say that this new treatment also had no known side effects, and was completely safe. That is what four studies have suggested could happen if people who were started on antidepressants received cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia (CBTi). However, this treatment …

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