When you think about getting treatment for things like stress, anxiety, and depression, you probably think of therapists in old, dusty offices asking their patients "So how does that make you feel?"
If a patient talks to a psychiatrist, they might be prescribed an antidepressant or an anti-anxiety medication. Although antidepressants are not addictive, people can still become physically dependent on them. For those that don't have great insurance, these medications can be costly.
Anti-anxiety medication also brings its own set of issues. According to the Addiction Center, Benzodiazepines or "benzos" are a common drug prescribed to patients for treating anxiety. Unfortunately, this medication can be extremely addictive and therefore only prescribed for short-term use.
Mindset Health, backed by Y Combinator in their s2019 round, is looking to solve this problem. The startup has created several mobile behavioral programs that don't depend on medications to treat mental health troubles. Instead, these programs depend on hypnotherapy; guided relaxation, intense concentration, and focused attention to achieve a state of trance.
Hypnotherapy makes it easier to instill automatic positive thoughts and change negative thoughts. For someone with depression, that goal is hard to comprehend. The programs also aim to change perceptions and provide a channel for experiential learning. The startup claims this is a more affordable and scalable solution for mental health treatment.
Interestingly, the company also offers program for those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). The condition affects about 1 in 7 Americans and current solutions don't seem to be cutting it. Mindset Health claims they can help those suffering from the condition without having them cut out the foods they love.
Whether you suffer anxiety, depression, or IBS, the delivery method for these programs is the same; through an app. The program for IBS offers 15-minute sessions that users go through for 6 weeks. The app, called Nerva, can be downloaded here.
The program for anxiety and depression focuses on daily sessions that prioritize your thoughts and helping you quiet your mind before bed. The app, called Mindset, can be downloaded here. If you're an Android user, you can sign up for the beta version.
Mindset Health is tackling a problem that's been stuck with the same solution for decades. Oftentimes, seeing a therapist or psychiatrist in person for these conditions can be embarrassing. This can cause the person suffering to feel trapped. When you arm someone with the ability to seek treatment from the comfort of their own home it puts the power back in their hands.
I'm eager to see whether this kind of treatment method becomes popular among those who are struggling with anxiety, depression and IBS.