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A Friendly Bot that Fights Depression


A Friendly Bot that Fights Depression

Depression is one of the biggest health issues people are struggling with. Finding a therapist or taking therapy might be hard for many. In context to this, the Stanford Clinical psychologist, Alison Darcy has developed ‘Weobot’, which is a tech-based treatment for people fighting depression. And it is available to you anytime, 24/7.

The clinical experiment conducted on a group of 70 students showed promising results when they interacted with Weobot. They said that they found themselves talking to the bot every day. A technique called cognitive behavioral therapy is used by the bot. It discusses on issues that are happening in your life right now, rather than an incident that took place three years ago. So, when a patient tells Weobot that no one remembers my birthday and no one loves me, the bot responds to the ‘negative-talking’. Weobot engages in ‘all-or-nothing thinking’, which is creating a distortion reality and consoles with positivity that everyone loves you, but they must have simply forgotten that it’s your birthday.

“Self-talk is part of being human. But the kinds of thoughts that we have actually map onto the kinds of emotions we are feeling”, Darcy said to the Business Insider.

Darcy also adds that Weobot is not a replacement to traditional therapists. But it could be looked at as a kind of additional toolkit when it comes to handling depression. “I tend to not think of this as a better way to do therapy. I think of this as an alternative option. What we haven’t done a good job of, in the field is give people an array of options. What about others who aren’t ready to talk to another person?” Darcy questions. Weobot sure seems promising for all those who need help and are seeking for it.

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