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Depression and other emotional problems are one of the most dangerous illnesses in the World generally and in the US specifically. Without treatment, they are as expensive as heart disease or AIDS to the countries’s economy. Fortunately, James Cartreine, researcher and licensed clinical psychologist James Cartreine, and colleagues, with funding from the National Space Biomedical Research Institute (NSBRI) through a NASA cooperative agreement, have developed a new treatment for depression without live therapists or counselors. With technology that has helped astronauts escape from depression, Electronic problem-solving treatment (ePST) is the most successful digital health tool to reduce depression and manage stress on the Earth. Prior to the appearance of ePST, the usual way of treatment is medication, talk therapy, or a combination of both. Medication can causes suicidal thoughts, stress, and sleeplessness, which occur at the beginning of treatment, that makes it possible for patients to quit or commit dangerous behavior.
The main advantage of ePST over usual treatment “is accessibility: cost; logistical barriers, such as lack of transportation or child care; reluctant to seek treatment for stigma; And the serious shortage of psychiatrists is a major obstacle in the United States, and even more so in other countries…”. There are five studies have shown that patients with ePST have the ability to recover at par with treatment from a clinician, and significantly better than no treatment. Overcoming these traditional way of treatment, ePST uses an unprecedented method to cure depressed patients. It “…uses technology developed for NASA to treat astronauts in space. Our technology provides a warm and responsive user experience. It keeps users engaged, on-track, and focused on results”. Also, this expert virtual therapist amazingly helps patients address their problems in daily life and take action.
ePST is an individual, interactive software for depression treatment. It helps patients address problems to reduces depression, it helps patients have a greater sense of control, It improves patients’ mood, and it reduces patients’ stress. ePST was developed base on Problem-solving Treatment (PST). PST improves patients’ ability to address their life’s problem. It helps patients feel more hopeful and energetic, it improves patients’ outlook improves, it helps patient’s activity goes up, it creates an upward spiral in patient’s mood. With its superior features, ePST can help millions of patients around the world overcome depression easily.
With the psychological challenges of long-duration space missions in mind, the Johnson Space Center-funded National Space Biomedical Research Institute supported an initiative to develop video-based software to help diagnose and treat mental health and interpersonal issues. EverMind has adapted the depression module for the ground, aiming to greatly expand access to evidence-based treatment. Cartreine has successfully applied technology to depression treatment. “I wanted to provide the same experience you would get if you were receiving treatment from a master clinician and make this treatment available to all astronauts, ” says Cartreine. In total, he spent 13 years developing the Virtual Space Station for NASA with grants from the NSBRI. However, he’s quick to add, “my interest all along has truly been in public mental health”: even while working with NASA, it was “with the idea that everything I’m building is very easy to convert into something that can benefit thousands and millions of people.”.
The treatment starts by asking patients to type in their problems — not the internal struggles, but the tangible life problems caused by, or that they feel unable to fix because of, depression — like a messy house, a broken-down car, or problems getting dressed and out the door every day.
Subsequent sessions ask the patient to pick a small problem and brainstorm steps to improve it, then to evaluate how well the plan worked. Unlike a real therapist, the computer program “doesn’t understand natural language: it’s just reflecting back what you’re typing in”, Cartreine explains. “But it guides you through the process of completing a plan to address a manageable life problem. ” ePST helps patients treat their depression effectively after talking to a virtual therapist.
When ePST’s success is demonstrated and eventually used around the world, it is a breakthrough in the medical field that is more prone to psychological treatment than with depressive drugs that can inhibit Nervous, limiting the negative aspects of traditional methods.
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