Depression is one of the most prevalent health problems American adults face today. A mental health disorder in which sufferers experience feelings of sadness or a loss of interest or pleasure, depression is also often accompanied by trouble eating, sleeping, concentrating or functioning in daily life. In 2014, more than 15.7 million American adults experienced a depressive episode, and 3 to 5 percent of the American population suffers from depression at any given time. Also, experts believe that more than 11.4 percent of the American adolescent population suffers from major depression. In order to help combat depression, drug company Pfizer recently created an app called Moodivator — intended to help sufferers diagnose, manage and overcome their symptoms.
About the Moodivator App
The Moodivator app intends to give people a resource that can help them manage their depression on the go. Not intended to be paired with any specific medication or treatment for depression, the app incorporates several features that experts believe will help sufferers better manage their condition.
Some of the standout features of the app include a goal setting function, where users can create customizable goals with actionable steps. Goals in the goal setting function can be created to relate to several life categories (e.g. family, work, social, etc.), and they can help users track and reach milestones.
The Moodivator app also has a messaging system, which can send encouraging messages to users, helping them stay motivated during the day or remain focused on their goals.
The app also has a mood tracking feature, where users can log their mood on a consistent scale. The mood tracking feature helps users keep track of things such as sleep, appetite and physical activity, and it can help sufferers be more self-aware about how they are feeling at any given moment. The mood logging feature can also reveal long-term patterns in mood changes, which can be helpful to both users themselves and their health care providers. One of the standout features of the Moodivator app, which facilitates better health care and treatment, is that also has a sharing function — so users can easily share the information they create and record with friends, family members and health care providers. This means that people who are helping manage the symptoms of depression in sufferers can easily stay aware of the situation and visualize data via helpful charts and reports.
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In a prepared statement from Pfizer, Dr. Susan Kornstein, a medical professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who helped develop the app, explained the purpose of Moodivator, saying, “As awareness of the magnitude and severity of depression continues to mount, technology like the Moodivator app represents a new and exciting frontier for helping people with depression. The option to set, track and achieve personal goals in the Moodivator app ties in nicely with cognitive behavioral therapy techniques that I use often with my patients. … The opportunity for patients to track and export their mood and goal progress in easy-to-read charts is also very useful because the progress can then be shared with doctors to help inform care decisions.”
How to Get the Moodivator App
The Moodivator app is currently only available for Apple mobile devices. Users who want to take advantage of it can download it for free from Apple’s App store.