Relationships, the happiness and health they bring have been a recurring theme of my blog posts. Not having that in your life can make you feel lonely and contribute to negatively impacting you mental health.

With that in mind, an article* in the weekend edition of one of Germany’s biggest newspapers caught my eye. It was about diagnosing depression. Good thing as mental health conditions too often go undiagnosed and untreated. Having survived severe postnatal depression the topic resonated strongly with me.

At the same time, the author raised the question of identifying genuine depression in a society that is no longer willing to accept feeling bad. Even more interestingly, “self-diagnosis” apps (putting this in quotation marks bc in Germany, they are not allowed to be marketed as such) seem to add to the problem. There is an increasing body of anecdotal evidence these apps can make healthy people feel ill.

Speaking as a scientist, anecdotal evidence no causation makes. Nonetheless it makes me all the more (see what I did there) applaud the digital health startups who, like for example smart patient, focus on patients who have been diagnosed by a doctor.

In a nutshell: I prefer helping patients get better to making healthy people feel ill. And I’d like to think that’s what I do every day, even if I’m no longer seeing them face to face.

Stay connected, stay healthy


*Süddeutsche Zeitung, Christina Berndt, 20 January 2019,  “Bin ich zu häufig traurig”

P.S: Ariana is THE chatbot for the healthcare industry who supports when people become patients – get in touch to learn how she does it.