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Woman with anxiety develops app to help others

Shared by JoanaSaraiva on 2019-10-09 11:22

About the solution

In the summer of 2009, Jane suffered a concussion. One of the symptoms that perdured from the accident was anxiety.

After joining a club with 40 million members, she realised how common her problem was. Since she was a game designer and knew how games can help us face challenges, she decided to face her anxiety by creating ‘Jane the Concussion Slayer’, which name she later changed to ‘SuperBetter’.

SuperBetter has a rainbow colour scheme. When the user opens the app, he or she selects the main challenge they would like to work on, for example, anxiety. The goal of the game is to accelerate recovery by avoiding ‘bad guys’ that triggered symptoms, such as bright lights or black-and-white thinking. At the same time, it gives encouragement to engage in ‘power-ups’ such as a walk around the block or deep breathing. The ‘power-ups’ achieved reward the user with points. There are also ‘quests’, which are daily steps the user makes, and ‘future boosts’, things the user is looking forward to. The app also keeps giving the user incentives such as messages saying, ‘Keep going – you can finish it!’.

SuperBetter uses the ‘Live Gamefully’ method, a framework that brings the psychological strengths and mindset of gameplay to real life.

She says this was very successful in helping her deal with emotional pain and anxiety. So, she decided to share it with others. The app is validated by randomized controlled and clinical trials to improve mental health.

The app was launched in 2012 and has, since then, helped a million users improve their psychological symptoms.

It is available on the App Store and Google Play for free, and the game can also be accessed on the official website.

Adapted from: http://bit.ly/2VpBxXn

More info: https://apple.co/2OucbGh


This solution shall not include mention to the use of drugs, chemicals or biologicals (including food); invasive devices; offensive, commercial or inherently dangerous content. This solution was not medically validated. Proceed with caution! If you have any doubts, please consult with a health professional.

About the author

Jane McGonigal, born in 1977, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, created SuperBetter, a game that helps people who, like her, suffer from anxiety and other psychological problems.

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