Stigma is a journal and mood tracking app designed to aid with anxiety or mood disorders, which also has a social networking aspect. Users can connect with one another by adding each other as ‘pen pals’. The app requests users to enter various information about themselves so that they can be matched with an appropriate pen pal (they can decline to enter any piece of information). Information requested includes year of birth, the issues they identify with (eg. depression, general anxiety, weight issues), relationship status, and a free text bio. Users also answer questions about the characteristics of their ideal pen pal, how often they would like to interact with them, their level of interest in intellectual conversations, books, and religion, and whether or not they would consider meeting in person with a trusted pen pal. In the ‘Journal’ portion of the app, users can write a free text entry up to 400 characters and choose how they are feeling from a range of options (e.g. tired, okay, calm, productive, etc.). The app can provide a visual representation of mood over a daily, weekly, or monthly period. Users have the option to share journal entries in the community forum, where other users entries can be read, and responded to by clicking a heart icon (the equivalent of a ‘like’) or requesting to connect with the user. This app is free, and users can pay to upgrade to Stigma Pro which allows users to track fitness and to enter longer journal entries.

Available for: iOS 9.3 or later (iPhone, iPad, iPod touch)
Company Name: Stigma Inc.
Classification (Type of Treatment): Symptom trackers
Targeted conditions: Mood disorders; Stress & Anxiety
Target demographics: Adults
Special provider necessary: No
Languages Available in: English
Where to get it: (Links) iTunes
Cost: Free with in-app purchases

Expert ratings and reviews

PsyberGuide rating: The research and support basis of the product

Research base 0/3
Research support 0/2
Specificity of proposed intervention 2/3
Number of consumer ratings 3/3
Product advisory support 0/1
Software support 2/2

Total 7/14

date of rating:  September 2017

Explanation of the rating factors

MARS rating

Quality scores range from 1 to 5, where 5 is the maximum score

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Expert review

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Research on the product

The use of mood tracking in the form of self-rated mood charts is recommended in psychiatric treatment guidelines for mood disorders such as bipolar (Moklowitz et al., 2012). Social networking has also been used in healthcare to maintain or improve peer-to-peer communication (e.g. Grajales, Sheps, Ho, Nocka-Lausche, & Eysenbach, 2014), but there is no evidence to support social networking in the context of this particular app.

  • Grajales III, F. J., Sheps, S., Ho, K., Novak-Lauscher, H., & Eysenbach, G. (2014). Social Media: A Review and Tutorial of Applications in Medicine and Health Care. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 16(2).
  • Miklowitz, D. J., Price, J., Holmes, E. A., Rendell, J., Bell, S., Budge, K., … Geddes, J. R. (2012). Facilitated Integrated Mood Management for adults with bipolar disorder. Bipolar Disorders, 14(2), 185–197.

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