Depression is the disease of the century, with an increasing number of people suffering from it. The bad news is that a lot of us are used to live with it in a constant phase of denial, which doesn’t necessarily improve our situation. Although some say that one can only know what happens in their own mind and heart, the need to seek for help becomes increasingly imperative. According to a recent study performed by a team of researchers from Northwestern University, the average daily smartphone usage for depressed people is about 68 minutes. If you don’t know that you are depressed, smartphones can detect depression for you.
The smartphone sensor data can be efficiently used to diagnose depression, by tracking the number of minutes one uses their phone on a daily basis. Also, the daily geographical location is another relevant indicator of depression. All this along with having an irregular daily schedule, leaving the house and going to work at different times every day are strong depression indicators.
The more depressed you are, the more you will be inclined to close the eyes of your mind and keep them away from the painful reality you are experiencing, hence relate to the virtual world of social networking or browsing.
Results of the study are highly relevant for each and every one of us, as it is easier to offer ourselves a steady diagnosis and follow the path of specialized help, ultimately. The symptoms of depression can easily be detected via the way in which we choose to spend time on our smartphones. Signs of depression and severity of those signs can be revealed without asking any questions but by merely analyzing how much time we spend on our cell phones.
Furthermore, research revealed some other facts, already known by some of us. Depressed people are inclined to withdraw, refuse going to new places and don’t have the motivation or energy to try out new things. An effect of that could be the very intimate “relationship” we develop with our cell phones, constantly checking our Facebook page or browsing meaninglessly on random internet pages.
Researchers claim that their findings could be used to monitor people who are at risk to develop severe depression and consequently offer them intervention. Another alternative would be to deliver the information to their doctors. The fact that smartphones can detect depression makes it easier on us to manage our emotions and seek for help.
Non depressed individuals don’t spend more than 17 minutes on their mobile phones on a daily basis. They are at peace with the reality they are part of and don’t tend to avoid it by relating to alternative “therapy” which proves to be useless most of the times.
Image Source: theguardian.com