App Review: The Linden Method, FearShrinker, Calm Down Now, Worry Watch
Roughly 40 million Americans over the age of 18 struggle with some form of anxiety disorder, making it the most common mental illness in the country. While severe cases of anxiety should be treated by a qualified medical professional, sufferers who live with mild, but still disruptive, iterations of the affliction might wonder what options are available. As with many complex problems of the modern age, there’s an app for that.
Recommended by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, the Linden Method app promises that it will cure users of afflictions such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Agoraphobia and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. While these are rather bold claims, the app is a massive worldwide success and has attracted many proponents within the mental health community. The Linden Method is a form of cognitive behavior therapy (via a series of videos) that aims to effectively rewire the brain so that it certain kinds of stress reactions, like panic attacks, don’t happen. The app is available on the iTunes App Store for $89.99.
Differing from many anti-anxiety apps, FearShrinker is designed to help children who struggled with their fears and worries. The app works to address common childhood anxieties like the fear of abandonment or embarrassment by using a crudely drawn anthropomorphic fish called Puffy to get them to relax and engage their imaginations in a more positive way. FearShrinker is available through both the Apple ($5.99) and Android ($3.99) app stores.
The Calm Down Now App acts as a portable guru, allowing users to partake in a number of guided relaxation techniques that can be helpful in dealing with the occasional panic attack, or something more mundane, such as a stressful day at the office or an argument with a romantic partner. In addition to its guided relaxation audio tracks, the app comes pre-loaded with a number of different relaxing recordings, such as the calming sounds of crashing waves, an intense thunderstorm or a purring cat. Calm Down Now is available through both the Apple and Android app stores for $1.99.
Taking in a unique approach to dealing with anxiety, Worry Watch helps sufferers cope with their fears by literally proving things aren’t as bad as they seem. The password-protected app allows users to journal their major life concerns and, then a later point, it asks how those concerns were resolved. Eventually, users will have an entire catalogue of their fears and a tactile reminder that the worrying that precedes a firing or a break up or that long-delayed visit to the dentist is typically worse than the actual outcome of those situations. Worry Watch can be purchased through the Apple app store $1.99.