Disclaimer: This post was developed in partnership with Pfizer as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.
“How have you been feeling?”
“How have things been since I last saw you?”
My therapist would ask me these questions once I sat down on her couch. Answering these questions wasn’t hard when my therapy appointments were 1-2 weeks apart. But when I started going monthly, it was harder to remember the moments and emotions I wanted to talk about. My mind would go completely blank.
In the US, it is estimated that one in 15 adults will experience at least one major depressive episode in any given year. Advances in technology are helping those struggling with depression in many ways. Individuals can join online forums and ask questions or seek comfort from peers experiencing similar emotions. Video chats with licensed therapists mean that individuals don’t even have to leave their homes.
A 2014 survey found that 70% of patients being treated for a mental health disorder would like to use a mobile app to help monitor their mental health on a daily basis. Pfizer took that information and, in consultation with psychiatrists, developed Moodivator.
Moodivator is a free, iPhone app designed to provide motivation to those living with depression. It can help patients establish routines and track their moods, allowing them to take a more active role in their treatment.
I was really excited about Moodivator’s goal setting feature. Medication and therapy can play important roles in getting better; however, self-care is important as well. The simplest of tasks, like showering or paying your bills, can be overwhelming for someone struggling with depression. Moodivator allows you to set goals to make sure your needs are met, whether it is managing your medication, exercise, staying organized, or strengthening relationships. The app has several goals to choose from, or you can enter your own. I was happy to see that goals I would have entered myself (be more consistent with an early bedtime and brushing my teeth twice a day) were already there. The app also sends you messages to encourage you to stay on top of your goals – none of which are too small! Once your goals are completed, you can turn them into habits to establish a routine.
The mood-tracking feature allows you to use a sliding scale to document how you are feeling and allows you to track this daily or several times a day. Once you choose your mood, you can record details. I was sick for several days while trying out Moodivator, and my mood reflected that. On those days I typed “sick” so I’d remember why I wasn’t feeling my best. You could note anything out of the ordinary that happened on a given day as a reminder to discuss it with your doctor or therapist.
The log feature allows you to create a report that you can email to your healthcare team. If emailing your team isn’t an option, then you could do what I did and email it to yourself and print it out so you can bring it with you to your next appointment. This feature is what made me wish I had this app while I was in therapy after my kids were born. Those simple questions I couldn’t answer? I could have pulled out my log and used it to jog my memory of how I had felt between visits and big events that might have triggered a depressive episode.
You can pick and choose what information goes into your report. I felt like the Mood Summary and Mood details would have been most helpful to my therapist or doctor.
It did take me a few days to get the hang of the Goals feature in Moodivator. I kept wanting to complete my goals when I should have been selecting “Action Steps” to select whether I was staying on track or had completed it. But overall, I do believe this app would be a nice compliment to an individual’s treatment plan.
Download MOODIVATOR in the iTunes App Store today!
The Moodivator app is not a treatment for depression and does not take the place of your doctor’s care or advice. This app also includes information about a prescription treatment option for depression.