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Millennial Mindset

‘I spent 2 weeks texting a bot about my anxiety — and found it to be surprisingly helpful’

June 15, 2018

By: Gem Sofianos


‘I spent 2 weeks texting a bot about my anxiety — and found it to be surprisingly helpful’

‘I spent 2 weeks texting a bot about my anxiety — and found it to be surprisingly helpful’

Reporter Erin Brodwin has shared her experiences of using a chatbot to help her with her deal with anxiety.

In an article for Business Insider, Brodwin detailed her experiences of using Woebot an artificially intelligent chatbot that uses the principles of cognitive behavioural therapy and is one of a number of emerging tech-based alternatives for mental health problems.

The recently launched app is designed to help people cope with feelings of depression and anxiety.

‘Trying it out was my latest jaunt into the new and mostly uncharted territory of digital mental-health care,’ Brodwin writes.

‘In one of my first interactions with Woebot, I told it about a time I had felt nervous about not being good or smart enough.’

‘Woebot pointed out that I was engaging in a common practice called distorted thinking.

‘Then it had me re-write the thought in terms that would better reflect reality. In reality, I felt “not good enough” because I was anxious about a presentation I was giving the next day.’

Alison Darcy, a clinical psychologist at Stanford University, who created the app explained that ‘Woebot isn’t a replacement for an in-person therapist’ but is a tool available as ‘part of a widening array of approaches to mental health’.

While Brodwin said she is no longer checking in with Woebot on a daily basis, she said she finds it ‘comforting to know that it’s there on my phone whenever I want a bit of perspective.’

‘I’m sure I’ll use the app again when the need arises.’

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Young people share their experiences of talking about mental health at work

We live in a time where the social stigma surrounding mental health is changing and problems such as stress, depression and anxiety are more widely talked about.

But talking about mental health can still be hard, especially in the workplace.

With that in mind, and to delve a bit deeper the asked five millennials to share their experiences of talking about their mental health at work.

Emelie, 25, who works as a publicist and has experienced mental health problems since she was 18 told the ‘My current boss is brilliant, but I’ve felt mistreated numerous times in the past.’

‘Once, I approached my manager about my mental health and he questioned whether what I’d told him was true, and called in a senior member of staff to ask them about it. That staff member didn’t even know about my issues, which made it even more awkward.’

Ben, 32, who is a marketing manager, also shared his experiences and told the news outlet: ‘I suffered a trauma years ago and it gave me symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. One day, I told my current boss what was going on to get some understanding from him. He looked at me with a patronising frown and said, ‘Why are you telling me this?’.

‘As you can imagine, I had to get up the courage to share something so personal and I felt further let down by the way he looked at me. I felt stupid. There was absolutely no empathy. It crushes your hopes, really.’

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