Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) via the internet is just as effective in treating panic disorder (recurring panic attacks) as traditional group-based CBT. It is also efficacious in the treatment of mild and moderate depression. This according to a new doctoral thesis soon to be presented at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden.
From: "Panic disorder and depression can be treated over the Internet."
There's a great short story by Anne McCaffrey about a female psych/compsci student named Nora Fenn, who in a course discovers a lower incidence of psychosis and need for CBT after computer journaling became commonplace (cough cough socially acceptable catharsis on Twitter and Facebook anyone?).
Note: I think the collection of short stories is Get Off the Unicorn, and I highly recommend it as required reading for any self-respecting female scifi/fantasty geek.
Seems like Nora Fenn got it right. Some similar incidences in the cathartic value of sharing experiential patient narratives has surfaced in my Redefining Patienthood work as a Kisaut Fellow at the Health Strategy Innovation Cell.
The power of using "I" based narratives, and the opportunity to share them at will for community referential value, seems to have as yet unquantified cathartic gains for individual users.
Someday soon, someone's going to figure out the power of combining "I" and "you" to drive behavior change. Oh wait, @shazow, sound familiar? :)
I want this doctoral thesis candidate as a Contagion researcher. Anyone speak Swedish?