So it shouldn’t be surprising that an increasing number of smartphone owners use their devices to improve their mental health. Yes, the mobile phone has become your personal pocket-sized counselor, available 24/7 to help you navigate the peaks and valleys of daily living.
There are now more smartphones than there are Americans. As of January 2014, 90 percent of American adults own a cell phone, according to the Pew Research Institute. Not only do we own them, but we also depend on them. Pew Research Institute discovered that 29 percent of phone owners describe the device as “something they can’t imagine living without,” and 44 percent have slept with the phone next to the bed to ensure that they wouldn’t miss any updates during the night.
Pew Research Institute took its study a step further, describing those who have done one or more of several tasks as “just-in-time” users. These are people who have to solve a problem, decide whether to visit a business, find information to settle an argument, look up a sports score, get traffic or public transit information, and get help in an emergency. The number of people who do that is estimated at 62 percent of the adult smartphone user population.
Helping You Cope
Clearly, the mobile phone has become an essential tool of daily living. So it should be no surprise that these trusted devices help people deal with their psychological issues. It’s a happy convergence of technology and human needs. Medco Health Solutions, in a study of antidepressant, antipsychotic, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drugs and anti-anxiety treatment users, reports that the number of Americans on medications used to treat these conditions has “substantially increased” since 2001.