Why The Panic Pit Stop App is a social good
Panic Pit Stop is an app on both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store. It is completely free with no in-app purchases and no adverts. The App delivers a cognitive behaviour therapy based treatment strategy for panic and anxiety.
The internet is awash with all sorts of claims of being able to cure panic and anxiety. These range from the seemingly magical to the definitely crackpot. However, the scientific research evidence clearly shows that the cognitive behaviour therapy way yields the best results and that is why it is recommended as the first line treatment by NICE. It can be hard to get into a CBT program to treat panic and anxiety and certainly if you live outside the UK it may be impossible. Even if you can afford it.
The magnitude of the problem of poor mental health
The World Health Organisation (WHO) recently published data showing that the state of mental health had deteriorated significantly. Between 1990 and 2013 the burden of depression and anxiety had risen from 416 million people to 640 million people worldwide. The tide of human misery is rising. I want to do something about this, in my small way. We have the technology and the resources to be able to change this path. Look…there is no reason that anyone NEEDS to be anxious or depressed. These are by and large treatable problems. But they are not being treated very well, as evidenced by the WHO data. Well I know how to treat these problems and I have taken a small step towards doing it.
Who am I
I am a practicing psychologist in the UK. I developed an approach over 20 years ago I call Active Self Help. It’s really simple. The Active Self Help Approach helps me take very complex psychological concepts, experiences and problems and demystify them. I then craft easy to understand and use methods you can change your life for the better.
I don’t spend much time creating the ‘ normal ‘ ‘fluffy’ self help stuff. There is a ton of that out there already. And in my experience it isn’t very useful as a treatment for serious psychological problems. I focus my attention on helping people who struggle with depression, the anxiety disorders including panic, OCD and variations of personality problems.
In clinical practice I find that Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) is the most powerful and effective approach of making change happen. There are literally thousands of research studies that have drilled down to the core of the problems I have mentioned. But this research is not of any use to you unless it is made accessible and usable.
You can help yourself if you know how to do it
Here is a fact I have mentioned so many times it seem like a friend. Then I catch myself and once again feel the enormity of it. Most people with mental health problem such as depression and anxiety will not have access to CBT, will not see a therapist and will receive no psychological help at all. My research has shown that it is really common for people to struggle for years with depression and anxiety and receive no useful help. Sure, in the western world you may get an anti-depressant or anti-anxiety medication. Again in my research in the UK I found that these tended not to make much of a difference. It maybe smoothed out the symptoms and made it a bit easier to cope but it did not treat the reason the problem came into being, it offered no path out of depression or anxiety and it does not protect against relapse.
I video’d a talk I gave at The European Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies to support my statements. The talk illustrated how my Active Self Help Program called Blues Begone cured 60% of people with depression and 50% of people with anxiety without them seeing a therapist nor having any psychological input except my Blues Begone Program. Blues Begone used Active Self Help.
The Active Self Help approach makes CBT usable without a therapist.
The Panic Pit Stop App brings the combination of CBT and Active Self Help to every single person who struggles with anxiety, worry or panic. No matter where, no matter when. The only thing that is needed is a phone, even an old one. There is now no barrier to CBT treatment for anxiety, worry or panic.