App Review: Stigma Brings Mental Health Tracking To The Masses

Journaling isn’t just a fun way to record your day-to-day activity. For the millions of people out there suffering from mental illness, it’s a way to relieve your suffering and attempt to, finally, get a hold on your life and what ails you. In the modern world that we live in, a simple pen-and-paper journal won’t work. Enter Stigma, the new app from Stigma Inc: the mental health journal that you can carry with you everywhere you go!

Stigma can remind you when you need to journal and you can complete an entry in less than half a minute. As the developers put it:

“Users select a mood describing how they are feeling (from a list of moods), then they write a 200-character journal entry describing ‘why, what, who, where’ was causing them to feel that way.”  

This can allow you a much clearer picture of your current state of mind, and perhaps even access the root of what might be presently stressing you. You can reflect on your journals by viewing word clouds of your previous entries. This is a fantastic tool for quickly seeing (at a glance) what your moods have been like lately. It’s all too easy to look back at the recent past with a distorted lens. However, doing so can help you catch yourself before you enter those dark periods, and possibly even prevent them from growing out of control!

Apart from the word cloud, Stigma also helps you generate a Mood Calendar, which allows you to view your ups and downs over the recent weeks. It’s not uncommon for those dealing with depression or anxiety to have a particularly bad week and think everything is hopeless. This feature can help remind you of your recent upswings as well, showing that progress is happening (even if it is slow).

Every week, Stigma will also generate a report, or a “reflection,” summing up your recent journal entries and categorizing them according to the moods you selected.  This can be incredibly useful for those of us in therapy, as it can provide a simple document to show to our mental health professionals to summarize what we’ve been going through lately. Stigma also allows you to connect with various groupsas a way of building your own mental health network from the privacy of your home. This can be a godsend for those with social anxiety issues, as you can be immediately connected to a penpal or a support team to help you find someone to relate to, or to ease yourself back into the hard work of building face-to-face connections.  

Stigma is a free app currently available for iOS (and coming soon to Android). A PRO subscription, which unlocks several features including the ability to create longer journal entries, is available for $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year.

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