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8 Apps People Diagnosed With Bipolar Disorder Should Know About

Currently at UCL specialising in Science and Technology Studies. I am interested in sciences social, historical and philosophical effects

Bipolar is a brain disorder which can cause radical shifts in mood and patients will experience periods of depression followed by mania. To capture this through a common experience, it could be compared to a faulty shower where sometimes the shower will suddenly become hot and other times will become freezing cold. People with Bipolar are sometimes at the mercy of unpredictable moods and learning how to manage and treat these changes is vitally important. Although there are many options available for the treatment of bipolar, medicating bipolar remains a challenge. People can react very differently to psychotropic medication and as such if we give 10 people with identical symptoms the same medication, they may all have a very different experience. In addition to this, Bipolar is often misdiagnosed for depression or schizophrenia in which they can receive the wrong treatment.

To correctly diagnose and find a treatment that works can take time and a lot of medication trials. Because of this, it is important to develop other methods to manage bipolar. Beyond therapy and medication, it is vitally important for patients to create a lifestyle which reduces stress and emotion upheaval. To do this, it’s important to maintain healthy sleeping patterns, manage stress management, Learn to monitor your own tells so you can adjust to your changes in mood Stay away from destabilizing substances like alcohol etc.

Fortunately, there are now some innovative apps that can help people with bipolar disorder to create a healthier lifestyle, giving them more power over their lives. We’ve listed our favourite top 8 mobile applications for people with bipolar disorder below...

1. Bipolar Disorder Connect

Without anybody being able to identify with your struggle, Bipolar can leave you feeling isolated. This app lets you find people and build a support network so you can share in your experiences, give one another insights and encourage each other. A cool feature in this app is that it has a mood tracking tool which lets you share your moods with the community

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2. IMoodJoural

This app serves as both a journal and a mood tracker. With it, you can monitor everything from sleep, medications, symptoms and energy cycles. The app creates useful summary charts that give you insight into your daily feelings, indicating when your stress levels rise or fall.

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3. Stigma

This app is aimed at helping people control their moods. It has journal and mood tracking features with a novel addition; the apps word cloud technology recognises which words you use most when writing down your feeling allowing you contemplate why these are your emotions. The app also has a social network in which users can connect with peers and share their journals. This is a great way to get feedback and support from others

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4. Medisafe

A perfect app to help keep up with the challenge of managing your bipolar medicine. It can be used as a medication tracker and organising app whose purpose is to create an easy-to-use reminder system to ensure you adhere to your medication schedule. The features on the app are; medication reminders, refill reminders and you can even share your data with other sources. On top of this, you receive medication coupons from leading pharmacies.

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5. Moodtools

This is a useful app for people in their depressive state. The app offers users helpful videos that can improve your mood and behaviour, such as meditation guides. It also provides a thought diary where you can log and explore your thoughts using Cognitive behavioural therapy principles, a suicide safety plan and psychoeducation about possible risk factors. This app has a lot of cool features and does a great job at condensing different features effectively into one app.

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6. Calm

This app isn’t targeted specifically for people with bipolar but its relevance means it may as well be. It won Apple's best app of the year in 2017 and is recognised as one of the top mental health apps available. It provides users with guided meditations, breathing practices and relaxing music. Mindfulness is a powerful tool to acknowledge and befriend our emotions; a useful skill when it comes to becoming aware of changing moods. This app is great whether you’ve never practised mindfulness or you’re an experienced practitioner.

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7. MY3

This app is important for those who experience dangerous low periods. It trains users to recognise suicide warnings in other and asks you to choose three contacts that you feel comfortable reaching out to when you’re down and aims to keep you connected to this core network. A great feature of this app is that it allows you to personalise your own safety plan asking you to recognise and list your own warning signs, coping strategies and support networks so you can readily notice your own tells for dangerous low periods.

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8. Headspace

Headspace has dominated the guided meditation field ever since it was released. It offers a huge range of guided meditations on everything from stress and anxiety to compassion, The gentle “get some headspace” reminders are a useful way to encourage us to take the time out to appreciate how we are feeling. The only downside to this app is that it has tried to capitalize on its popularity resulting in a steep 12.99 a month (expensive relative to app cost). I think this goes against what the mindfulness movement as a whole stands for.

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Conclusion

Key tendencies in these apps are to give the patient more control in their care, connect them with a great support network and learn about themselves in relation to their Bipolar Disorder. With machine learning technology becoming more and more commonplace, I think we can expect to see more apps like “Stigma” appearing as these apps offer a real promise in quickly helping people recognise tendencies and create meaningful insights. Maybe an app could appear to help doctors log a database of successful medication combinations for specific sets of Bipolar symptoms. Then using machine learning find the best medicine combinations for patients.

Comments

Sheila A Myers from Oregon on September 05, 2019:

Thank you so much for these ideas! I suffer from bipolar depression and I needed something like this.. Thanks again!

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