Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Depression Apps

In My Three Shrinks Podcast #63 (recorded last Sunday, to be out as soon as Clinkshrink completes it), we talked about  reviewed iTunes apps helpful for screening for or tracking depression. I will provide a bit more focus on this topic here.

I recently wrote an article for Clinical Psychiatry News referring to the iPad as the new physician's "black bag." One of those tools might be a depression tracking app, to be used by patients or by providers responsible for treating patients. So, I went to the App Store (sorry Android users, I don't have one of those gizmos yet) and searched for the keyword "depression" and narrowed it down by filtering for apps which met the following criteria: Medical category; a rating of at least 3 stars; and at least 100 ratings.

Five apps came up:

3D brain

  • 9600 ratings
  • not a rating tool but a nice 3D map of the brain
  • interactive features

Sad Scale Lite

  • 800 ratings
  • uses a Zung depression rating scale


  • 700 ratings
  • uses a 27-item validated screen for depression, bipolar, PTSD, and anxiety
  • displays graph of scores over time
  • ability to send to your doctor
  • also has a physician dashboard for reviewing trend of scores for all your patients

Moody Me

  • 600 ratings
  • an emoticon-based mood diary
  • displays a graph of your scores over time

Health through Breathing: Pranayama

  • 300 ratings
  • not a rating tool, but a highly-rated meditation tool
  • some graphing functions

If you have used any of these, please tell us about your experience. If you have others you like, let us know.

*Disclosure: I have consulted for and collaborate with M3, the makers of DepressionCheck.


Sarebear said...

We don't have a cell phone of any kind and haven't for almost a decade, so I can't help you there.

I know though I've used one website in the past to track mood, but I forget what it is right now. It wasn't the one you recently mentioned.

Anonymous said...

Here is how I use my phone to track my mood: If I have not 0-2 people over the course of the week and one of them is my doctor or drug store, that is a signal I may be depressed or am away on vacation somewhere that my cell phone does not work.
If I have called 20 - 120 people in the course of a day, for several days in a row, at all hours and at least one being a bookie, it is a signal that I may be getting manic.

Anonymous said...

to be read without the word not and with the word called in the above paragraph.

Carrie said...

You definitely should've patented the whole "psych notes for smilies" thing... ;)

Dinah said...

I loved the anon comment.

Crissy said...

It's not an app, but a website that I've used in the past for tracking my mood is http://www.moodscope.com/

It graphs your daily results and allows you to easily see trends in your mood over time. I have been able to share this with my doctor and we've both found it helpful.

Anonymous said...

FYI: Breathe2Relax, here: http://t2health.org/apps/breathe2relax

(I have no connection to the site, tool, etc. Just find it cool ... and useful.)

Roy said...

@anon#1: good metric.
@carrie: lol. my contribution to the advancement of science :-/
@mommy: thanks for moodscope. (didn't like that I couldn't use it without registering, tho)
@anon#2: thanks

Neurodeviant said...

I have had the 3D brain app since I got my iPhone a year ago last July. It takes up a ton of space and isn't anything but entertaining to this brain nerd, but it is AWESOME. I mean, if it was a matter of showing the different parts from different angles it would be cool, but the information that's there if you look as pretty extensive.
I have charted my moods in the past and have been fighting actually purchasing an app for this. Kinda lame, since I by dumb apps all the time, and that is not a dumb thing. One that I'd like to see is an ADHD app tracker with mood, sleep, menses, etc. But I have ADHD, and I like graphs that have me as the main subject, sooooo, that may not be relevant to the rest of you.

Roy said...

@neurodeviant: you'd probably like a Fitbit, or that new one that goes on your wrist.

Throat said...

Sounds interesting depression conversation here..