Smartphone game designed to reduce anxiety shows promise in study

CBS:

Anxiety relief could be at your fingertips just by playing a game on your smartphone, new research suggests. Not just any game, though. A professor of psychology and neuroscience teamed up with app developers to design a game called Personal Zen that incorporates the latest science to clinically reduce anxiety levels while you play.

Dr. Tracy Dennis, the game’s creator and a professor at Hunter College in New York, says the game helps fill a gap in the mental health care system.

“There’s really a crisis in mental health now where we have some excellent scientifically-supported treatments for things like stress and anxiety disorders but they’re burdensome, expensive, stigmatizing, and time-consuming,” Dennis told CBS News. “We as psychologists need to do a better job of developing treatments that people can access that are effective.”

About 18 percent of American adults experience anxiety each year, and nearly one-quarter of those cases are classified as severe, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Less than 37 percent of anxiety sufferers are receiving treatment.

Read the whole story: CBS

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