Anxiety affects us all in different ways.
For me, it’s a constant feeling of nervousness and uncertainty (Generalised Anxiety Disorder, or GAD).
Others worry about leaving things undone, being contaminated, having scary thoughts and feelings, or making mistakes. This anxiety disorder is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, or OCD.
While I don’t have OCD, I can put myself in the shoes of someone who does.
So when the makers of the free nOCD app asked me to review it, I jumped at the chance. And I’d love to share the experience with you here, so you can check it out for yourself.
What is the nOCD app?
nOCD is a “personalised mobile treatment tool for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder”.
What I love about nOCD is that it wasn’t developed by a clinician behind a desk. The story goes that creator Steven Smith was experiencing OCD, and couldn’t find an empowering on-the-go treatment to help manage his symptoms. And so he made an evidence-based app that people can use alongside their therapy.
In this way, nOCD puts OCD treatment in your own hands, helping you discover self-healing and self-awareness.
How does it work?
When you download nOCD for free from the App Store, the first thing you’ll notice is how fun and easy it is to use.
You simply set up your profile, and add your personal obsessions (an anxiety-producing thought or fear), triggers (things that trigger your obsession) and exposures (activities you can do to trigger your obsession).
Why would you want to trigger your obsession? That’s what treating OCD is all about. Exposing yourself to the things that trigger your OCD, and using the app to track your progress. It’s a dynamic approach that can really help your recovery. And you can share your progress with your therapist, too. So it forms part of your treatment plan.
What’s great about nOCD?
Here’s what I love about the app:
- The cute, cartoon characters and interface. It looks like a game, so it’s really fun to use.
- On-the-go: You can use the app to do exposure therapy anywhere, at any time. Because we all know anxiety doesn’t always strike at the most convenient time and place!
- The SOS button. Press this when you’re experiencing an obsession or compulsion, and follow the steps to track it and log your anxiety level. The app then guides you through a timed activity to resist your compulsion for a pre-set amount of time.
- Personalised your way. The program is about YOUR compulsions and YOUR obsessions. It’s not a cookie-cutter treatment, but a very specific, personalised approach. And I believe this is key to getting a grip on OCD and other anxiety disorders.
- Keeps you on track. There’s a real sense of progression when using the app. Each week there are exercises to complete, including triggering your obsessive thoughts. All your progress is logged, so you can see how you’re improving over time. And you can create an organised plan, and set reminders when to start treatment. Your therapist can even add notes and provide input. Very empowering!
- Share data: The app automatically collects your data as you use the app. You can then download the info in a PDF, and send it to your therapist or anyone else. In this way, you and your therapist can look at when, where and how your OCD episodes arise.
- Understand your OCD. You can take a YBOCS test, a clinically proven tool to measure your OCD. Understanding your mental health is essential to making friends with your mind.
What don’t I like about the app?
Nothing! I can see this app helping millions of people around the world to handle their OCD. And it’s another step towards ending the stigma towards mental illness.
I just wish there was an identical app for other anxiety disorders, like GAD and social anxiety. Hrmm…now there’s an idea!