Invisible wounds of war: There's an app for that?

July 26, 2011 - 3:15 AM
PTSD Theres an App for That

Sgt. Mark Miranda, a public affairs specialist stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state, demonstrates the use of a program for tablet computers and smart phones that is designed to help calm symptoms of post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, Friday, July 22, 2011. Miranda said he does not suffer from PTSD, but after trying the app, he said he may suggest its use to other soldiers who he has deployed with. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Combat troops and veterans battling post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries can now turn to smartphone applications for help dealing with the age-old wounds of war.

A half-dozen apps with names like "T2 MoodTracker," ''PTSD Coach" and "Breathe2Relax" have been developed by the Pentagon and the Veterans Affairs Department. They offer at-your-fingertips information about what the military calls "invisible wounds" of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and techniques for managing the symptoms. The apps aren't designed to replace treatment or make a diagnosis.

All but one were the work of the Pentagon, starting with MoodTracker, which lets users rate how they're feeling — worthless, happy, lonely and so on — and keep a record of their ups and downs over time.