In our modern world, there seems to be an app for everything. While there are plenty of apps designed solely for fun and entertainment, there are a wide variety of apps that can help an individual suffering from health problems to cope and even find potential treatments methods. There are a wide variety of apps available for people who suffer from bipolar disorder.
Understanding bipolar disorder
Bipolar disorder is a chronic cyclical mental disorder where a person cycles between the manic phase of the disease and the depressive phase of the disease. In the manic phase, a person is filled with energy, feels an abnormally high level of positive emotions, and can be in a very hyperactive statement. During this time, symptoms could express themselves by a person staying up all night to tidy up a house that is already clean. In the depressive phase, a person experiences extreme depression. The depression can be so severe that the person may feel worthless and be physically incapable of getting out of bed. Both phases of the disease result in extreme emotions that can make it impossible for a person to complete a daily routine. Bipolar disorder can be treated through therapies, like psychotherapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. It can also be treated with medications, like anticonvulsants or SSRIs.
The following is a list, in no particular order, of some of the best apps for people with bipolar disorder to use as another coping method. All of the ratings from the apps listed are an average of the ratings on the Apple Store and the Google Play Store. These apps are free. All of the quoted reviews are from the Google Play store unless otherwise noted.
App: Medisafe Pill Reminder & Medication Tracker
Information: Medisafe is not made specifically for bipolar disorder, but it can certainly help. This is an electronic form of the old pillbox, and it comes with several fail safes. The app sends electronic reminders to the user when it is time to take medication. It can also be programmed to send alerts to friends and family members when doses are missed. To fully utilize the app, a user can upload information about all of the medicines and supplements he or she takes. The app’s built-in drug repository will then alert if any of the medication he or she takes will have negative interactions with each other.
Sticking to a medication regimen can be the difference between a person with bipolar disorder being able to live almost symptom-free and being debilitated by symptoms of this disorder. It is difficult for anyone to remember to take medications, and this app combats that problem. The app also has the ability to connect to existing Google Fit accounts and track health metrics such as blood sugar, blood pressure, and heart rate. These are especially important numbers for people with bipolar disorder to monitor because failing physical can health can further exacerbate mental health problems.
Review: “I love it. It is the best way to remember for me to take my meds, It also helps me remember to weight myself and to take my B.P. (Blood pressure). I see a few things to add, but that is me. I would like to take multiple measurements, because the fact it is a log. Otherwise, it is the best thing, as I did forget to take meds many times a week.” -Toomas Rett
App: Mood Log
Information: This app has an easy to use interface that allows a person to track their moods each day. This makes conversations with a mental health professional much easier because it can quantify the number of days a person was manic and the number of days a person was depressed. Since the mental health professional can get a better picture of the person’s health, they are able to treat the patient more effectively. The app also encourages the user to keep track of other factors that may contribute to a person’s mood, such as a new medication or a woman’s menstrual cycle. This gives both the patient and the mental health professional extreme insight into how bipolar disorder impacts the person’s daily life.
Review: “This app makes it easy to track moods against other variables, such as medications. You can also use tags to create additional variables to cross-reference against moods. I do wish it had a dedicated variable for sleep, and maybe for diet as well, although that could get a bit complicated. But this seemed to be the most robust mood tracker app I could find that was also easy to use.”- Suzanne Hahn
Information: This app guides a user through diaphragmic breathing, which can be an effective coping method for mental health disorders. It couples the deep breathing exercises with relaxing pictures of nature.
Review: “I tried this despite my reservations bc it’s easy & free to try at home. Glad I did. Will recommend this to family.” – Av Ik
A word of caution
All of the apps mentioned can simply help a person to cope with the effects of bipolar disorder. There is not an app on the market that can cure the disorder, and apps should only be used as a personal coping method in conjunction with treatment from a mental health professional. These apps are not treatments for bipolar disorder. They merely make life easier for people who suffer from bipolar disorder. A mental health professional can be of great assistance in finding an app that pairs best with the specific type of bipolar disorder and key symptoms that an individual grapples with. Apps and other personal coping methods provide a great way for patients to take a measure of control over their health while working alongside their doctors.