What is it?
MoodGym was one of the first interactive websites to help with treating depression. It uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to help you take more control of your thoughts, to help overcome anxiety or depression, and to develop skills to cope better with life. According to the latest studies, CBT is as effective as antidepressants in treating mild to moderate depression. CBT delivered via a website, anonymously, has also been shown to be effective.
How Does It Work?
MoodGym consists of interactive modules which are delivered to you in a specific order. The modules are: feelings, thoughts, unwarping, de-stressing, and relationships. At the end of each module you can apply the material to your own circumstances through a series of activities.
As you move through the program, you are presented with all kinds of information, animated demonstrations, quizzes and “homework” exercises. Your answers to the exercises are recorded in your own personal MoodGym Workbook, which keeps track of your progress. At the end there is opportunity for you to view this progress and your results. It could almost be called a dynamic self-help book!
Who Is It For?
Anyone can use it. It was designed for young people but almost anyone would find it helpful. It is especially good for those who are unwilling or unable to seek help (apparently 60% of people with depression). It is geared to those with mild to moderate depression, but not designed to replace traditional medical treatment or medicines.
What Does It Cost?
Nothing. The program is free and completely anonymous. And there are no ads!
MoodGym is free and anonymous, which is worth repeating. They are great benefits. MoodGym offers an easy entry point for someone wanting a quick picture of their mental health, or to take the first, difficult step towards full treatment.
I have used MoodGym on and off for a few years now. If you have a username you can return whenever you like. I find it pitched at a younger audience, but I have still enjoyed benefits. Admittedly, I have a biological, “melancholic” kind of depression, so CBT is of limited use. But it has helped many thousands of others, so for anyone who struggles with negative self-talk then it is definitely worth a look.