A Combat PTSD Mobile App that Really Helps
There are many ways to get help for combat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but one you might not think about is a combat PTSD mobile app. And while there are many apps that aim to help mental health issues, the app I would like to highlight is the PTSD Coach (which is free). The app is created by the United States Department of Veteran’s Affairs National Center for PTSD in partnership with the Department of Defense's National Center for Telehealth and Technology
This combat PTSD app has been downloaded over 100,000 times, so clearly I’m not the only one who really feels it can help. (And, I should say, while designed with combat PTSD in mind; this app is appropriate for anyone suffering from any form of PTSD.)
What is PTSD Coach?
PTSD coach is a mobile app both for Android and iPhones (there is also an associated online app). It's divided into several sections:
- learn about PTSD
- assess and manage PTSD symptoms
- locate PTSD support
Learn About PTSD
This section of the mobile app allows you to learn about PTSD. It provides a basic overview of PTSD and information about professional care.
The information about PTSD section includes audios on topics like:
- The causes of PTSD
- Who develops PTSD
- How long PTSD lasts
- Related problems
In the professional care section, you'll find information on:
- Do I need professional help?
- Why do people seek professional help?
- What a psychologist does
- Evidence-based combat PTSD treatments
This part of the app allows you to assess your PTSD symptoms and track your symptom history. The symptom assessment involves 17 multiple-choice questions that take only a couple of minutes to answer. The history of your assessments is saved for future reference. You can also set up auto-reminders to remind you to periodically take the assessment.
Manage Combat PTSD Symptoms
When it comes to managing combat PTSD symptoms, there are several built-in tools to help reduce the stress that can make PTSD symptoms worse and to help focus on more positive things. Tools include things like:
- Taking a time out
- Positive imagery
- Progressive relaxation
Tools are divided into sections that are designed to help specific symptoms like sadness, anger or disconnectedness.
The find support section encourages you to set up a support network and provides information on getting immediate support.
This Combat PTSD Mobile App
Of course, an app cannot replace other forms of help like therapy for combat PTSD and this app should always be used in combination with professional help. And, I admit, this is not a perfect app and I have seen a couple of bugs, but the huge benefits one can receive from this app outweigh any negatives and I highly recommend it.
Download the free app here from iTunes and here from Google Play.
Dr. Croft is the co-author of a heralded book on combat-related PTSD called I Always Sit with my Back to the Wall. Find Dr. Croft on Facebook, on Twitter, on Google+ and on his homepage.
Croft, H. (2014, January 29). A Combat PTSD Mobile App that Really Helps, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2023, June 9 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/understandingcombatptsd/2014/01/combat-ptsd-mobile-app-helps
Author: Harry Croft, M.D.
I've been diagnosed with PTSD, Bipolar, and more and have recently found SuperBetter somewhat helpful, a game that can help you become healthier as you play. They have an iPhone appp, but no android yet. More info at SuperBetter.com