56-year-old Seb C from the UK shares how he uses Wysa to help manage depression and addiction recovery. Here is his story.
“From my early teenage years I was struggling with what I now know to be anxiety and depression, and which has been an on off but persistent problem in my life. I later struggled with addiction, and have been in recovery for over twenty years now, taking each day as it comes. The help I’ve had throughout this time has been varied. When I was a teenager my mum took me to see a junior psychologist. There have been periods of NHS support, and when circumstances necessitated and finances allowed, private. Alcoholics Anonymous has been pivotal in helping me get and stay sober. I work for a debt charity, and their employee assistance programmes have also been helpful at times.
Because I’ve had to for so long, I imagine that compared to many men of my age, I find it comparatively easy to speak about my mental health. Sometimes however this has been from a victim stance, seeking support and help almost in a pitying way, which isn’t healthy. Over time I have slowly learned self-compassion and self-worth, and the importance of taking ownership over my actions, life and health, and that committing to keeping working hard is not the same as pretending everything is ok.
The pandemic was a challenging time. I was working from home, there were some financial difficulties, work was pressured and there were some family things going on. Depression once again reared up, so I started looking for low-cost solutions. I admit I was slightly prejudiced about AI. How can technology do the deep human work? But the fact that Wysa is built by humans and clinically verified reassured me. It’s amazing how there are so many responses that are nuanced and effective really. And you get out of it what you put in. The more specific you are, the more searching and thought-provoking questions it offers, which really help get to the root of the issue and reevaluate things. When I have specific issues that are challenging it extracts the right information that turns around and offers a different angle. There are skills I have learned through AA, such as gratitude, that Wysa reinforces. You can use it anywhere which I love because it’s convenient. I was recently sat in the hospital waiting for my wife and pulled it out to talk about my feelings.
It’s a tool, and doesn’t solve everything of course. But it’s a useful part of my mental health kit, and I wouldn’t be without it any more.”
Read more real-life Wysa users share their stories.
Image: Zsolt Nyulaszi. “Portrait of happy smiling mid-adult man”. Stock Lite, Canva, accessed Nov 2023.