For fire år siden blev jeg diagnosticeret med bipolar lidelse type 2.
I hele mit liv har jeg vidst, at jeg var anderledes. Jeg har altid kæmpet med depression og angst, og hvad der viste sig at være hypomani. Da jeg var 22, havde jeg min første slemme depressive episode, og jeg blev nødt til at starte på antidepressiver. Alligevel tog det yderligere 6 år, før jeg officielt blev diagnosticeret med bipolar lidelse type 2.
Det sværeste, ved at have diagnosen bipolar lidelse type 2, er at man ikke oplever den typiske maniske episode, hvor man er over-energisk og på grænsen til psykotisk. I stedet er man hypomanisk, som betyder at man er socialt velfungerende. Man er ikke psykotisk. Man føler sig faktisk rigtig godt tilpas. Så problemet er, at man ikke ender med at tage til sin psykiater og sige, at man føler sig for godt tilpas. Det gjorde jeg i hvert fald ikke!
Årsagen til at min psykiater fandt ud af, at jeg var bipolar, skyldtes at han ikke kunne få mig ud af mine depressioner. Først diagnosticerede han mig med depression og ADD. Men disse diagnoser var ikke rigtige. Da jeg ikke havde den rette diagnose, fik jeg stadig mine store humørsvingninger og meget angst. Da jeg så blev diagnosticeret med den ’rigtige’ diagnose, bipolar lidelse type 2, føltes det faktisk rigtig godt. En masse ting gav mening. Pludselig kunne jeg se, hvorfor jeg havde følt, som jeg havde hele mit liv.
Jeg tror virkelig, at Monsenso kunne have hjulpet min psykiater med at diagnosticere min lidelse tidligere, fordi app’en hjælper mig med at tracke mit stemningsleje og med at blive mereopmærksom på, hvordan jeg har det. På grund af app’en skal jeg hver dag tage en pause og tænke på, hvordan jeg egentlig har haft det, før jeg taster svaret ind. Når jeg tager til psykiater, kan vi sammen se, hvordan jeg har haft det. En god ting ved app’en er, at mit svar ikke afhænger af min hukommelse, men af hvad jeg faktisk svarede den pågældende dag. At indsamle al den her information kan hjælpe mig, og derved min psykiater, præventativt med at undgå fremtidige depressive eller hypomaniske episoder, fordi vi tydeligt kan identificere, når jeg har humørsvingninger.
I august har min dokumentar, om at være bipolar, premiere på nationalt fjernsyn. Reaktionerne har været overvældende. Rigtig mange personer har skrevet til mig og takket mig for at snakke om sygdommen. Jeg havde oprindeligt tænkt mig, at lave dokumentaren således, at ingen personer ville blive flove over at have sygdommen. Jeg tror, det er lykkedes mig.
Mit håb for fremtiden er, at personer bliver diagnosticeret med lidelsen tidligere end jeg blev. Selvfølgelig kommer det til at afhænge af en masse forskellige faktorer, men jeg tror virkelig, at Monsenso kan gøre en forskel. Mit håb er, at andre psykiatere og patienter også begynder at bruge app’en.
Four years ago, I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 2.
For my whole life I had known that something was different about me. I had always struggled with depression and anxiety, and what eventually turned out to be hypomania. When I was 22 I had my first big depression episode and had to start taking anti depressant medications. However, it would take me six more years before I was officially diagnosed with bipolar disorder type 2.
The tricky thing about having the diagnosis of bipolar type 2 is that you are not experiencing the typical manic episode where you are over-energetic and nearly psychotic. Instead, you’re hypomanic, which means that you’re socially well functioning. You’re not psychotic. You actually feel really good. So the problem is that you don’t end up going to your psychiatrist saying that you feel too good. At least I didn’t.
The reason why my psychiatrist found out I was bipolar was because he couldn’t get me out of my depressions. At first, my psychiatrist diagnosed me with depression and ADD. But these diagnoses didn’t fit. When I didn’t have the right diagnosis, I still had my large mood swings, and a lot of anxiety. When I was diagnosed with the ‘right’ diagnosis, of bipolar disorder type 2, it actually felt really nice. A lot of things made sense. Suddenly I could see why I had felt how I had for most of my life.
I really believe that Monsenso could have helped my psychiatrist diagnose my disorder earlier, because the app helps me to keep track of my mood and really helps me to become more aware of how I feel. Due to the app, every single day I have to pause and take a moment to think about how I’ve actually been doing before putting my answers in the app. After doing this, when I go to my psychiatrist we can together see how I’ve actually been. The good thing with the app is that my answer to how I’ve been is not only based on my memory but how I actually answered that day. Logging all of this information has helped my treatment. My psychiatrist and I can better plan how to avoid my future depressive or hypomanic episodes, because we can clearly identify when I am having mood swings.
In August, my documentary about being bipolar aired on national danish television. The reactions have been overwhelming. So many people have messaged me, thanking me for talking about the disease. I had originally made the documentary so that people would not be ashamed about having the disease. I think I have succeed.
My hope for the future is that people will be diagnosed earlier with the disease than me. Of course, that will take a lot of other factors, however I truly believe Monsenso is one of the things that can help. My hope is that other psychiatrists and patients alike will start using the app.
In this video, Monsenso user Mads Trier-Blom speaks of his experience using the Monsenso app as a part of a clinical trial. The Monsenso app has helped Mads to become more connected with his clinician, Bente, so that Bente could help intervene with Mads’s moods even before it turned into an episode.
The app helped him to become more aware of his mood, and other factors, such as sleep, and their influence on his bipolar affective disorder. To Mads, having bipolar disorder means constantly keep a balance, to prevent losing control to either depressive or manic episodes.
“In my life with bipolar disorder, I see myself as a tightrope walker. This metaphor for living with bipolar disorder is very meaningful. I feel like a tightrope walker because when living with bipolar disorder, you constantly have to prevent losing control to either depressive episodes or manic episodes. You are able to avoid this through earlier registration on how your mood is fluctuating, so that the app can help you to keep in control of your life.” says Mads Trier-Blom.
During Mads’s time in his clinical trial, he felt more connected to his clinician, Bente. He recalls an instance where he had missed completing his self-assessments for a couple of days, and Bente had called him to check and see how he was doing. With Bente calling to check in on him, it helped Mads to become more aware of how his mood.
“One day, I was driving in my car and I was a little tense. Suddenly, the phone rang. It was this lady, saying, ‘Hi, my name is Bente and I just wanted to hear about how you are doing. At first, I was like,’Who are you, why are you calling me?’ and then she said, ‘Well, you’re on this trial and I can see that you haven’t made registrations for 3 days. So I thought, ‘Oh yeah, this is true. I am kind of tense at the moment, but yeah I think it’s okay; but still this answering back to the clinician and the clinician is able to call you back which makes you aware and alert.” says Mads Trier-Blom.
To turn on English subtitles, click on the ‘CC’ at the bottom of the video.
Psychiatrist Kristoffer Södersten from PsykiatriResurs in Sweden shares his experience using the Monsenso mHealth solution.
How does the Monsenso mHealth solution encourage and empower better mental health treatment?
Kristoffer explains how the Monsenso mHealth solution helps him to enhance and inform treatment. Specifically, the solution helps him to gain more relevant information about his patients, such as information that couldn’t have been obtained through the traditional method of verbal sessions. “It’s difficult to retrieve reliable and consistent data from each patient during a verbal consultation with them,” says Kristoffer.
Obtaining the right information is key for psychiatrists and psychologists to provide an accurate diagnosis
“[The accuracy from a diagnosis obtained] from face-to-face consultation depends so much on factors like personal relations, how comfortable the patient is in the conversation, cultural background, etc. Therefore, [due to these factors] it can be very arbitrary about which diagnosis a patient receives. This diagnosis can depend on which clinician he meets, and these other factors.” says Kristoffer. The information gathered from the Monsenso Clinic can help to provide a consistent and clearer view of the patient’s mental health, to better inform a diagnosis.
Kristoffer finds the Monsenso mHealth solution to be particularly helpful in capturing relevant objective data. The solution provides a comprehensive and easily accessible overview of relevant patient data, such as day score, mood score, sleep and medication adherence. Moreover, overview of collected sensor data, such as physical activity, social activity, phone usage and voice features can also be provided. This objective data can help to supplement the subjective data provided during verbal therapy.
“The technology of Monsenso can help us to gather more objective data that – together with the subjective experience – provide a more holistic picture of the patient’s problems, to help provide a more accurate diagnosis and follow-up treatment in a totally different way,” says Kristoffer.
Monsenso mHealth solution is providing a visualization of a historical data, which in some cases can identify why the symptoms appear and help to prevent them.
“You can also use this tool to predict future psychological outcomes, which can help us intervene early and prevent relapse.”
In this video, Monsenso User Peter Hagelund speaks about his experience using our mobile health solution to support his bipolar disorder treatment, and how the solution has helped improve and inform his communication with his psychiatrist.
Prior to using the app, Peter & his psychiatrist followed the typical therapeutic setting, they would meet for an appointment every two-three weeks, and they would have a conversation regarding Peter’s past weeks. Peter would usually say that he had been fine for each appointment, but he would sometimes forget important details regarding his previous weeks that he wanted to discuss.
“It can be pretty tricky to remember, two weeks later [between appointments] how you actually felt that day. With the app it’s really easy to go back and see if your mood has been pretty stable over the last two months, or if you had had some ups and downs over a period,” says Peter Hagelund.
With the app, instead of relying solely on their conversation and Peter’s memory during the appointment, Peter’s psychiatrist can now access his logged data and see how he has been doing, as it is happening. His psychiatrist can view how much he has been sleeping, how much he exercises, how much he drinks, how much anxiety he has, and other relevant aspects to his treatment and his disorder.
“By having the [Monsenso] app, my psychiatrist can actually go into it and see how I’ve been doing, as in, yeah, you say you’ve been doing fine, but I can actually see that you’ve had a bit of ups and a bit of downs, and I think [the app] helps your psychiatrist to get a really honest view of how we, as patients, have been.” says Peter Hagelund.
Monsenso’s mHealth solution will lead the mental health component of a new ICT solution designed to help users maintain or improve their physical, cognitive, mental, and social well-being.
Copenhagen, Denmark – 6 February 2018 Monsenso is proud to be a consortium partner in the international team consisting of SME companies, universities, and research centres for the Horizon 2020 funded WellCo project.
Led by Spanish ICT company Hi-Iberia, the WellCo project will deliver a radically new ICT solution focused on encouraging users to adopt and maintain healthier behavioural choices to help improve their long-term physical, cognitive, mental, and social well-being. The study will mostly be working with older participants.
“WellCo’s aim is to change behaviours and promote a healthy living that will be translated in better quality of life for seniors. One of the main factors is to ensure the acceptance and maintenance of the healthy behaviors promoted by WellCo. The WellCo application will try to make use of the technology as a tool to personalize and tailor these recommendations to the specific needs and preferences of each user.” says Inmaculada Luengo of Hi-Iberia.
The solution will consist of many components, including a comprehensive assessment, personalised advice, and supervised guidance & follow-up for users. WellCo interventions will be guided by an affective aware virtual coach that, through using state of the art technologies in AI (artificial intelligence), will interactively guide and empower users towards important behavioural changes.
Monsenso’s mHealth solution will help contribute experience and knowledge to the project, by providing comprehensive routine monitoring and detailed data collection for assessing the participant’s behaviour.
“We play a leading role in the development of the user assessment and in the design of the virtual coach, and we will also be involved in the prototyping and dissemination components,” says Thomas Lethenborg, CEO of Monsenso. “We are excited to see how we can build on our remote monitoring and sensor data functionality, in order to contribute to collecting longitudinal data to help improve the mental health of participants.”
The virtual coach will be tested in trial in Trento in Italy, Castilla y León in Spain, Copenhagen and the Southern Denmark area in Denmark. There will be a minimum of 150 end-users included in the study. The study will be continuously supported by a multidisciplinary team of experts and users’ close caregivers to ensure the effectiveness and accuracy of the guided wellness interventions.
Other Danish Involvement in the Project
In Denmark, the University of Copenhagen and The University of Southern Denmark will be working alongside Monsenso in the study.
The University of Copenhagen will contribute to the study with the Quality of Life Lab, which explores the development and evaluation of personal behavioural health metrics by examining how sensor data can be used as a minimally obtrusive method to accurately and longitudinally measure an individual’s behaviour. The lab will also examine how an individual’s quality of life naturally unfolds over time; within this context, the lab will also examine which behavioural change methods can be used to improve the individual’s overall quality of life.
“It is very exciting to be involved in this study and to see how sensor data and remote monitoring can work together to offer a better, more informed, detailed picture of individual’s behaviours for the assessment and improvement of their quality of life and overall well-being.” says Katarzyna Wac, Quality of Life Lab leader and Associate Professor at the University of Copenhagen.
“We will be very interested to see how this project effects our elderly patients and their wellbeing, and how much more data and information can be extracted with the use of remote monitoring and sensor data tools,” says Torben Uhrenholt of The University of Southern Denmark.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the grant agreement No.769765.
About Monsenso: Monsenso is an innovative technology company based in Denmark that offers a comprehensive mHealth solution to optimise the treatment of mental disorders. Our mission is to assist healthcare providers, researchers and individuals in coping with and overcoming the burden of mental illness. Our solution provides a detailed overview of the patient’s mental health through the automatic collection of behavioural data and routine self-monitoring. Our team is committed to developing complete and effective solutions that fit seamlessly within the lives of individuals, in order to increase the quality and efficacy of their treatment.