Category Archives: Tools

Addiction and Social Media Tools

The Ultimate Mood Tracking App: Optimism

Standard

“I am completely in love with this app called Optimism. It is incredibly useful for those that are struggling through addiction and co-occurring disorders. It keeps track of everything from sleep to triggers. I remember searching for some type of workbook where I could record my mood and all that nonsense to find patterns so as to prevent mania and depression. This app helps me do that and more! Not only does it just intake the information and allow for extra notes, it literally gives you data summaries over whatever period of time you want. It is simple, thorough and so convenient, I would recommend this for even people that are SANE! Please read the specs below and give it a try. I promise you won’t be disappointed!” -Love and light forever, Robyn

Image

ImageImageImage



Optimism is a mood charting app that helps you develop strategies for managing depression, bipolar or other mental health conditions.
*Note: a network connection is needed to use this app.*

The app helps you to:

  • Develop and monitor health strategies
  • Learn the “triggers” of a decline in your mental health
  • Recognize the early warning signs of a decline.

Detailed charts and reports are available within the app or by immediate email delivery. These form a feedback loop, providing concrete starting points for exploring things that are affecting your mental health.
The charts and reports can be invaluable for working with a health professional. They provide a detailed history that is fast and easy to review.
The Optimism app is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. The advice of a qualified health professional should always be sought for questions regarding a medical condition.

In a nutshell, the purpose of self-tracking is to learn more about yourself and achieve better health.

  • By using the Optimism apps you can monitor the patterns in your life, to identify the negative influences (or “triggers”) that impact on your health, and the early warning signs that your health is deteriorating.
  • Optimism can help you find the small things, as well as the big, that help you to stay well. It can show you the impact of positive strategies that you adopt on your well-being.
  • It helps you to plan for better health. By bringing together your knowledge of your triggers, early warning signs and symptoms, and wellness strategies you can develop a plan for remaining well. That is the key. The purpose of the software is to plan for wellness, not just keep a record of illness.
  • Rather than be a passive recipient of treatment, or just seek treatment in reaction to a new episode, Optimism can help you to have more involvement in your health and a greater sense of control. In general people achieve better health outcomes when they educate themselves and are proactive with their health.
  • There are many health professionals who love Optimism. By tracking your mental health you can provide your clinician with a precise, detailed history. It removes the problem of memory recall and gives an accurate picture of what has been happening. It gets to the bottom of what is or isn’t working, which helps them to give more relevant, appropriate advice and treatment.

Every person’s illness is different. “One Size Fits One”. For many people treatment is difficult, a slow process, or not entirely successful. Optimism is designed to help increase your chance of success.

Advertisements

Track Your Sleep with an App

Standard

“I don’t need to tell you how important sleep is or how different it can be now that your clean and sober. But I can tell you that theres a great way to record and control your sleep. With the smart phone app, Sleep Cycle,  you can keep track of what you do during the day and before you go to bed, what time you sleep, wake up and how you feel when you do. It will store the data from your sleep  and create calculated graphs and charts that show you what methods work and how well you are sleeping. This app detects when you fall asleep and when you hit REM by using motion detectors on your phone, mean while waking you up at the best time in the morning based on your peek of consciousness. You will start to feel more refreshed when you wake up and make a note of what works best to get the perfect nights rest! I have been using it for a week and I am beginning to notice quite a difference in what works and doesn’t when it comes to my sleeping habits. Check it out for yourself! It costs only $1.99, check out the description below for more information!” -Love, Robyn

Image

Description

Waking up made easy.
An intelligent alarm clock that analyzes your sleep and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase – the natural way to wake up feeling rested and relaxed. 
Sleep Cycle helps millions of people to wake up rested!Featured in: CNN, Wired, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal, BBC, The New York Times and many more.
#1 Top Paid app in Japan
#1 Top Paid app in Germany
#1 Top Paid app in France
#1 Top Paid app in Russia
#1 Top Paid app in Netherlands
#1 Top Paid app in Taiwan
#1 Top Paid app in South Korea
#1 Top Paid app in Sweden
#1 Top Paid app in Norway
…and many more.
“It just works. Period. It does exactly what it advertises which is absolutely amazing.”
– 5/5 stars on 148apps.com

Sleep cycle is continuously rated as the best smart alarm clock, Sleep Cycle is now the worlds most used intelligent alarm clock.

  • Sleep Cycle monitors your movement during sleep using the extremely sensitive accelerometer in your iPhone.
  • Sleep Cycle then finds the optimal time to wake you up during a 30 minute window that ends at your set alarm time.
  • Look at the screenshots for recommended iPhone placement.

As you sleep you go through different phases, ranging from deep sleep to light sleep. The phase you are in when your alarm goes off is critical for how tired you will feel when you wake up.

Since you move differently in bed during the different phases, Sleep Cycle can use the accelerometer in your iPhone to monitor your movement and determine which sleep phase you are in.

Sleep Cycle wakes you when you are in your lightest sleep phase.
Sleep Cycle was developed using proven sleep science and years of research and development.

MAIN FEATURES

  • Waking up made easy! Sleep Cycle analyzes your sleep and wakes you in your lightest sleep phase.
  • Detailed sleep statistics and sleep graphs for every night.
  • 15 carefully selected, high quality, alarm melodies.
  • Use iPod music as wake up sound
  • Snooze by shaking or tapping the phone lightly.
  • Customizable wake up window. From instant (regular alarm clock) up to 90 minutes.
  • Background mode – set your alarm and exit Sleep Cycle – sleep analysis will continue in the background
  • Sleep notes: see how events such as drinking coffee, eating too much or having a stressful day affect your sleep quality
  • Long term graphs: track sleep quality over time, see which days of the week you sleep best and much more
  • Export sleep data to Excel for detailed analysis

REQUIREMENTS
Ability to charge your phone by the bed
Ability to place your iPhone according to the instructions (see screenshots)

Take a Quiz to Judge How Well You Manage Your Bipolar Disorder

Standard

“Check out this link to take a test that evaluates how well you are controlling your bipolar disorder. It offers some insight that you might not have been able to see and educates you on the steps you can take to improve your situation.

I took the test, these were my results: ” – Shanti, Robyn

Your Bipolar Disorder May Not Be Well Controlled

Perhaps you’ve been dealing with symptoms for a while but are afraid to talk to a doctor, or you’ve been diagnosed but don’t like taking medication. Sometimes lifestyle factors like your support system or dietary habits play a part. Whatever the reason, your responses indicate that it’s time to get things in order. Start here:

See a Qualified Medical Professional

When it comes to getting a proper diagnosis and treatment plan, it can sometimes take a few tries. If your primary doctor hasn’t addressed your concerns or has prescribed a medication that isn’t helping, you may need to seek out a psychiatrist to diagnose and treat your bipolar disorder. Your regular doctor or local hospital should be able to recommend one.

Educate Yourself and Your Family and Friends

There’s a wealth of information available to help you get a better understanding of the condition, whether online, through mental health organizations, from self-help books, or from your doctor’s office. Sharing this information with family and friends can help them understand too, and may even open up a dialogue about how they can best support you.

Know Your Treatment Options

A number of therapies are available to help alleviate the symptoms of bipolar disorder. Your doctor can tell you about medication options, which range from mood stabilizers to antidepressants. Talk therapy is also often useful, and some complementary therapies, like acupuncture, may be incorporated into your plan.

Inform Your Workplace or School

If you find yourself struggling to keep up at work or school, it might be necessary to inform human resources, your union, or school administration that you’re managing a medical condition. That way you can learn about your options should you need to take time off, and you can file any necessary paperwork.

Online NA Meetings

Standard

I wanted to make a post about NA online meetings because during some time of isolation I noticed my anxiety soar in social settings. This made my “90 in 90” seem unbearable– but not impossible! With online meetings that are hosted daily, you can go over the principles, review the steps and get support all in the comfort of your own home! Plus the chatrooms are always open. So if your having a hard time picking up the phone or are stuck at work, just visit the chatrooms and someone will be there to comfort you. Anywhere you are in the world, you will never be alone. The farthest distance I traveled through my screen was Africa, but this man had the same issues as you and me: Addiction. Check out http://na-recovery.org for more information on online meetings, guidelines and times. You can even consider doing service work for the site once you get a hang of it (and with enough clean-time) by chairing the meetings. Below is a summary of Na-Recovery.orgs purpose… Peace and Love, Robyn”

Image

Our primary purpose is to carry a message to the still-suffering addict. NA-Recovery.org is a community of addicts, working together to share our experience, strength, and hope to stay clean, Just for Today. Our chat roomis open 24/7. If there isn’t anyone chatting at the moment, someone will be by shortly. Our members come together to carry a message that an addict, any addict, can stop using, lose the desire to use, and find a new way to live. We can help people find local meetings, Narcotics Anonymous literature, and local helplines.

In addition to providing links to face to face meetings and resources for addicts, our chatroom also hostsOnline meetings at Ten (10) PM Eastern Standard Time. We have a variety of meeting formats, and all topics are also open for attendees to share on whatever is affecting their recovery today.

The members of our online Narcotics Anonymous Group also participate on our NA forum to share their experience strength and hope with other addicts in recovery. We also have blogs for addicts to participate on; sharing their experience with life in recovery. You can make your own blog and share it with your friends, the public at large, or just with yourself.

In the Rooms Applications

Standard

There are so many great applications and online resources available for recovering addicts. One of the best to assure you make your 90 in 90 is the InTheRooms application and its sister Afternoon Affirmation app that is just as useful in its own way.

To start out you have to create a profile. Once you have created a user name and password you will have access to the different tools available through the app. On the menu page you have options to view a status feed, your profile, friends, an inbox, your fellowships and groups. You can upload photos to your profile like a picture of you or the service work you do.

20131002-124851.jpg

This is what your profile can look like. On this page you can keep track of your recovery and update your status for those using the app to see. Friends can leave comments on your profile and others will welcome you the InTheRooms.com! Its a excellent community of support that isn’t as anonymous as the chatrooms I blogged about earlier this week. But it will allow you to stay in touch with friends you make in meetings without collecting hundreds of numbers!

20131002-124859.jpg

This is by far the best part of the application. The “Meetings” option on the menu will take you to a map view or a list view of meetings based off the information you specify. Select a fellowship (ranging from AA, NA, OA, GA, Alanon, Naranon, SLLA, CA, ANARAA, CODA, EDA, EA, MA, ACA, CMA, NICA, and SMA), a day, ‘from’ and ‘to’ time slots and a zip code or major city. Then the app will do the work for you! Just select the meeting you want to attend and an address is presented, its just that easy and super convienent! You can use this app when your traveling and looking for a meeting no matter where you are around the globe!

20131002-124905.jpg

And while your downloading the InTheRooms app, be sure to check out their sister app called Afternoon Affirmations. This app is a very basic app that will send you a reminder to read an  affirmation that will uplift your spirit and guide you through recovery. There is no need to make a profile and theres no cheating by reading the next days writings. It is changed everyday with a new beautiful background photo from Kenny P. photography. Its simple, free and easy to use!

20131002-124915.jpg

Out of the Room Recovery Chat App

Standard

20130929-141516.jpg

Whether you’ve been sober a day or a millennium, the app Anonymous Sober Chat by Pitashi is just the app to keep you focused on your recovery! Here you can join an assortment of chat groups specified by topics separated by your addiction (sex versus drugs), your motivations (like the workout and exercise thread), age (like young people in recovery) and living situations (like sober and single). These threads give you an opportunity to find support no matter who you are or where you are! You can vent about your struggles or help someone who is relapsing get to their next meeting. Its a great community full of so much potential to grow the recovering population because the more addicts support each other not only inside but outside the rooms, the less likely there is a chance of feeling isolated and wanting to use.

I started a thread titled Holistic Recovery and I highly recommend anyone who is interested in healing–not only their mind but body and spirit– to join! You can receive live comfort and motivation that will keep you on track for a successful recovery!

“Bellow is the first article I posted on the thread that talks briefly about the physical effects of our addiction to our health and how new lifestyle choices can help aid in our recovery.”- Love, Robyn

All addicts in active use of alcohol and drugs are malnourished.

In order to help people recover, it is important to understand the impact of nutrition. It is astounding to consider that only fat contains more calories per gram than alcohol. As a result, while drinking, addicts experience a sense of fullness having eaten very little or nothing. These “empty calories” lead to poor eating habits and malnutrition. Drug abusers experience a similar affect. Alcohol and drugs actually keep the body from properly absorbing and breaking down nutrients and expelling toxins. This leads to a host of health problems. (see sidebar, “How Drugs & Alcohol Affect the Body”)

Restoring addicts to physical, as well as spiritual, health.

The essence of recovery is changing negative behaviors into positive ones. Good nutrition, relaxation, and exercise all play an important role in successful change. Learning to make healthy food choices is important to achieving a healthy lifestyle.

Because they have neglected their diet, addicts experience gastrointestinal disorders such as diarrhea, constipation, an inability to digest foods properly, along with a poor appetite. As a result, they have a special need for foods that are high in nutrients to rebuild damaged tissues, organs and regain appropriate functioning of the various systems including the nervous and gastrointestinal systems.

Nutrition actually impacts cravings for drugs and alcohol.

Every newly recovering addicts struggles with craving to use alcohol and drugs. Research has show that a diet with the right types of high protein and high carbohydrate-rich foods can make a big difference.

Food affects mood. Along with amino acids, deficiency of nutrients like folic acid and the other B-complex vitamins also have a serious and negative impact. Sugar and caffeine can contribute to mood swings, so intake of both should reduced during the early stages of recover.

Alcohol and drug use prevents the body from properly processing two important amino acids, tyrosine and tryptophan. They are responsible for the production of norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin. These compounds are neurotransmitters that are essential for emotional stability, mental clarity, and a general state of well-being. Decreased levels of these neurotransmitters negatively affect mood and behavior.