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There’s Now an FDA-approved App to Treat Depression

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the FDA's approval of the first app, Rejoyn, for treating major depressive disorder, a condition that affects a significant portion of the U.S. population. It provides an overview of Rejoyn's features, target audience, and how to access the app, as well as information on other mental health apps that could be helpful.

🙋 Q&A

[01] What is Rejoyn?

  • Rejoyn is the first app approved by the FDA for treating major depressive disorder.
  • It is intended to supplement treatment for major depressive disorder, including antidepressant medication.
  • In a clinical trial, participants who used the app saw improved depression symptoms after 6 weeks of treatment.

1. What are the key features of Rejoyn?

  • Rejoyn uses a six-week program of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) lessons, exercises, and personalized reminders and messages.
  • The lessons focus on cognitive restructuring, behavioral activation, and emotional regulation.
  • The lessons and exercises take 3-4 minutes and 11-26 minutes, respectively.
  • For four weeks following the program, users can still access the lessons for review.

2. Who is Rejoyn suitable for?

  • Rejoyn is intended for people aged 22 or older who are diagnosed with depression.
  • It is most suitable for tech-savvy individuals who want to use digital resources to complement talk therapy and medication for depression.
  • Consulting with a therapist is crucial to determine if Rejoyn is an appropriate option and to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.

3. How can one access Rejoyn?

  • Rejoyn requires a prescription, so users need to consult with their primary care doctor, psychiatrist, or psychologist about their depression symptoms and treatment options.
  • The healthcare provider will conduct an evaluation and, if Rejoyn is deemed suitable, issue a prescription for the app.
  • Rejoyn may provide tools and resources for managing symptoms, but it may not address the underlying causes of depression in the same way that therapy and medication can.

[02] What other mental health apps could be helpful?

  • Headspace offers guided mindfulness and meditation exercises that can be effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Woebot is a chatbot-based app that delivers CBT techniques and has been found effective in reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety, particularly among younger users.
  • Happify offers activities and games designed to promote happiness and well-being by targeting negative thoughts and behaviors, though research on its specific effectiveness is limited.

1. What is the importance of professional treatment for depression?

  • While these apps have shown effectiveness in research studies, they are not intended to replace professional treatment for depression.
  • Individuals experiencing depression should consult with a healthcare provider to determine the most appropriate treatment options for their needs.
  • Ongoing research is needed to further evaluate the efficacy and long-term effects of digital interventions for depression.
Shared by Daniel Chen ·
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