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Monitor Psychological Health with the T2 MoodTracker App
Whether you are deployed or transitioning, self-monitoring your psychological health is just one way you can gauge how stress may be affecting you (or a loved one). Self-monitoring with pen and paper has been used for decades to understand symptoms over time. As mobile phones have evolved to replace pen and paper, their applications (apps) have evolved to complement traditional health care too. The free T2 MoodTracker app can be your pen and paper – for your own awareness or for sharing with your health care provider. The app is currently available for Apple iPhone and iPad via iTunes, as well as Android-powered devices.
How the App Works
The T2 MoodTracker lets you self-monitor, track and reference your emotional health with an easy visual scale. The app’s features allow you to:
- Track moods daily. You can rate your progress in six categories – anxiety, depression, head injury, post traumatic stress, stress and general well-being – or you can create your own category.
- Set reminders. If desired, the app can remind you to rate your health daily.
- Record notes about events. You can add notes to track important events like starting therapy or a new medication, or stressors like having a baby or getting married.
- Share your progress with health care providers. The app allows you to provide information about how treatments are working.
Keep in mind the T2 MoodTracker app is not a diagnostic tool and is not a substitute for a trained health care professional. It can’t tell you if you have depression or anxiety; it can only help track how you are feeling, so you can keep your provider informed.
The Benefits of Self-Monitoring
Studies show that the very act of self-monitoring can have positive benefits. However, the benefits of the T2 MoodTracker can also extend into the provider’s office. Your health care provider probably starts an appointment with the typical question: “How have things been since I saw you last?” Even if you’ve been vigilant about tracking changes in your mood or physical condition, it’s easy to forget information in the moment. The T2 MoodTracker app puts important information at your fingertips so your health care provider has the right information to give you the very best care.
“Research has shown that information collected after the fact, especially about moods, tends to be inaccurate,” said Dr. Perry Bosmajian, a psychologist with the National Center for Telehealth & Technology (T2) who led development of the T2 MoodTracker. According to Dr. Bosmajian, the best record of an experience is when that experience is recorded at the time and place that it happens. “The T2 MoodTracker enables patients to more accurately convey information about their emotional states, which has the net effect of improving the overall quality of treatment.”
Keep in mind that you can download the T2 MoodTracker app anonymously, and if you share your data with a health care provider, Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) laws maintain your privacy. For peace of mind, you might consider adding a strong password to keep your mobile device secure.