Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., afflicting 40 million adults, or 18.1 percent of the population each year, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. The good news is that anxiety disorders are treatable via talk therapy, mindfulness training, and medication. If you're feeling nervousness, worry, or even panic, these five apps may help in the short term. Note: If you're in crisis, you should call 911 or contact a medical professional, a suicide hotline, or even the Crisis Text Line, which puts a trained counselor just a text away.
What are some of the more common anxiety disorders?
Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Panic Disorder, Social Anxiety Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Excessive negative thoughts, worry, fear, restlessness, irritable moods, sweating, hypervigilance, racing thoughts, palpitations, trembling, and insomnia are some of the more common symptoms.
How does an anxiety attack differ from a panic attack?
The difference between the two, according to the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth edition (DSM-5), lies in the difference in the provocation, intensity, and duration. An anxiety attack, which may include fear, apprehension, a racing heart, and shortness in breath, builds over a long period of time, but is generally shorter lived and decreases in intensity once the stressor is removed. Panic attacks are sudden, severe, and longer lasting.
What are my anxiety and panic treatment options?
The most prescribed evidence-based treatment options include talk therapy, medications including benzodiazepines and antidepressants, and self-help practices, such as yoga and meditation to quiet the mind.
There are also a slew of anxiety apps for iOS and Android out there that can potentially improve users' mental health. Below we include some of our favorite mental health apps to help users cope with anxiety symptoms, social anxiety, panic attacks, and even post-traumatic stress disorder. Some rely on cognitive-behavioral therapy and others on deep breathing or diaphragmatic breathing and others on mindfulness meditation. Most of these anxiety apps are free to download but require in-app purchases to make the most of.
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HelloMind harnesses the power of hypnotherapy, relaxation, and meditation in its potent 10-session treatments, boosters, and quick fixes. ($12.99 to 119.99)
Break the negative thoughts cycle with Pacifica's multipronged approach. 30+ audio exercises, a pattern-finding mood tracker, a journaling tool, cognitive behavioral therapy-based challenges, and a peer-support community all work together holistically for anxiety, stress, and depression relief. ($8.99 to 199.99)
Destress at your own pace with Calm, which offers three- to 25-minute meditations to help you ease anxiety symptoms, get to sleep, and more. If meditation is not your thing, then the app offers more than 100 sleep stories, breathing exercises, and nature sounds to help you unwind. ($12.99 to 299.99)
Meditation is one of the most recommended practices to keep stress levels and anxiety symptoms down. The best meditation app on the market today is Headspace, providing myriad meditations to help people with stress management, depression and anxiety, and more. ($12.99 to $399.99)
Free app Anxietyhelper provides useful information about anxiety and panic attacks, including signs and symptoms, coping methods, and treatment options. If you're in the middle of a panic attack, you'll appreciate the panic alert function, which enables you to pass your phone to a trusted person, so Anxietyhelper can help them successfully guide you through the panic attack with step-by-step instructions. (Free)