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Mindfulness Apps For Mental Health – Are They Helpful?

Quite a number of people are suffering from mental health problems. As such, their health care consultants advise them to make lifestyle changes, get better sleep and have a better diet. People have also reported finding relief from the methods advised by their health care professionals. Of late a new phenomenon has emerged where mindfulness apps for mental health are on the rise.

Mindfulness smartphone apps offer everything from pain relief to creativity. Of late, they have become some of the most popular downloads. These apps offer meditation and breathing exercises for your mental health and claim to have the ability to achieve almost anything.

Why Are Mindfulness Apps Harmful For Mental Health

Most mindfulness apps have been developed by people who have no knowledge about the finer points of mental health. Their only interest lies in creating the app and promoting it on large platforms such as Apple and Google.

The creators of these mindfulness apps utilize sleek marketing strategies. They claim that the apps will make the user sleep better. Some  even go ahead to say “you just need to listen to the app to find your anxiety gone altogether.” Again, the developers are not experts in mental health. Rather, they are involved in a profession that is entirely different.

What Does The Medical Fraternity Have To Say About Mindfulness Apps

Some doctors warn their patients about the risks of relying on mindfulness apps.  They have stated that the apps are promising consumers effortless and, in most cases, immediate solutions to mental issues. Doctors have warned that the quick-fix remedies which are being offered by these apps, in fact, prove to be damaging to the users.  The creators of mindfulness apps state that doctors are only trying to safeguard their interests.

It could very well be the case because doctors would not like to lose patients and revenue to a mindfulness app which is available free of charge and can be downloaded within a couple of minutes. Under the circumstances can it be concluded that the creators of mindfulness apps have a point which must be noted?

How Are Patients Affected By Mindfulness Apps?

During the initial stages, patients will definitely be happy that they have finally found a solution for their problem.  They could be relieved to understand that they will no longer be required to spend large sums of money and time visiting their healthcare professional. This is because the mindfulness app will give them everything that the doctor cannot.

Patients would not be wrong in believing in this. Appointments and medications consume a considerable amount of cash. However, there is a negative side to these apps. In fact, they can leave the patient with more problems than they originally had. What are the problems that patients are susceptible to?

  • Doctors mention that patients with mental health problems are already vulnerable to the marketing tactics used by the creators of most mindfulness apps.
  • The apps that can be downloaded for free only offer a small part of their content for free. To access the entire content, the subscriber has to pay.  This is just a marketing strategy.
  • People with problems such as depression and anxiety start to believe that their condition is untreatable if they find no relief after using the apps.

Conclusion

“The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently.” — Pema Chödrön

Although mindfulness apps are being marketed by major platforms, it must be mentioned they are not really helpful for dealing with mental health issues. Under the circumstances, it is advisable to stay with the time-tested methods and follow the advice of their healthcare practitioner rather than depend on a smartphone mindfulness app.

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