Different Way to Treat Depression: Games

The Wall Street Journal

After being diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder last September, Reva Wood struggled with chronic pain, and then anxiety stemming from chronic pain. To reduce her anxiety, she decided to try something a little unusual: a videogame called SuperBetter that claimed to use science-based challenges to help her manage anxiety.

Digital games are gaining notice from some researchers who think they’re a novel way to address mental health issues like depression and anxiety. SuperBetter is currently the subject of two scientific trials, including a National Institutes of Health-funded experiment that will begin this summer. A paper by the creator of Personal Zen, published in the March edition of Clinical Psychological Science, shows the mobile game can decrease anxiety in some users after 25 minutes of use.

Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal

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T he idea of using games and purposeful activity is not really novel.. Occupational Therapists have been using therapeutic activities to address mental health issues for many years. We analyze activities and can adapt activities for level of functioning. I am a Mental Health OT at the MidHudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Medical Center (Formerly St. Francis Hospital) in Poughkeepsie, NY. and we use games, activities and crafts, to develop coping skills, communication skills, social skills, concentration and more. The use of digital games, though, IS new, since the games are new, and it is exciting that there will be apps that people will be able to use to decrease depression.

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