Artificial intelligence widely known as AI has become a need of an hour these days. People have integrated AI into everything they do. It has the potential to bring revolution and bring change in our everyday routine. However,whenever there is any emerging technology, there is always concerns about its impact on the health. Same is the case with AI technology. We will discuss the effects of AI on mental health and the role of AI chatbots in the support regarding mental health issues furthur in this article.
Effects of AI on mental health:
AI is a branch of computer science which invloves the making of computer machines which can work efficiently and performs task which requires human like intelligence to be completed. Artificial intelligence can bring revolutionary changes in how we live but there has been concern regarding the effects of AI on mental health. Some people worry about its use and how it can make people disconnected from each other. Some people also worry that it will take away job opportunities from humans while some are also of the opinion that it can also be used for harmful activities ie cyberbullying.
Positive effects of AI on Mental Health:
Despite all the negativity regarding the effects on mental health, it can also have positive effects as well as Artificial intelligence can give support regarding mental health in a proper and in a more discreet way aswell. For example, Ai chatbots can provide 24/7 support which is not possible for humans to provide and thus plays a significant role in managing of mental health issues and can also be accessed from anywhere having internet . One of the challenging part in treatment of mental health problems is to identify people who are risk of developing such problems . It helps in identifying such people who are at risk of developing mental diseases by using the analysis of the social media posts pattern.
Artificial Intelligence can also be used in bringing improvements in the treatment of mental health problems. It can help in devising a treatment plan for the patient which can specifically be according to that patient’s needs and preferences. It can also help in monitoring the improvements in the patient after starting the treatment and then adjusting the treatment according to needs.
Negative effects of AI on Mental Health:
Along with all the exceptionally important uses of AI, it can also be damaging to the mental health. Some people believe that the increasing use of Artificial Intelligence can be damaging as it can make people isolated from one another. The example of this are the chatbots, as these have widely replaced human interactions. It can also worsen the already existing mental disorders including anxiety and depression. AI can also be used in harmful purposes such as online harassment and cyberbullying. People can create fake social media accounts and use AI to generate responses such as comments and messages which can have negative impact on the mental health of a person.
AI chatbots and their role in Mental Health support:
The AI chatbots are the most significant impact of AI in every field. Chatbots are the human like chatting programs which are designed for having a human like conversation. These chatbots are usually available 24/7 to give mental health support to the people needing it which is not possible for humans easily. And also people can find it more comfortable to talk with an AI chatbot rather than having a talk with normal human therapist.
These chatbots can be designed according to the specific mental health disease i-e anxiety,depression, PTSD etc, to provide support and information to the people regarding that particular disease. These chatbots can be designed using the CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) techniques to help people support to manage their mental health symptoms.
AI and Mental Health Research:
Artificial intelligence is also imposing its everlasting effects on research related to mental health. AI tools can be used to analyse datasets and detect the patterns which might not be able to be detected by humans and thus can help in the better understanding of causes and treatment of mental health. Artificial intelligence can also be used to develop new treatements aswell which can lead to better outcomes .
Many researches are being done on the use of AI in mental health, such as
- Refining diagnosis and assigning of the right therapist by using data insights and machine learning algortithms
- Detecting the signs of anxiety
- Remote therapy and access to mental health services through mental health apps and virtual therapists
- Quality control of treatment and training of therapists by using NLP (Natural Language Processing)
Personal experiences with AI and mental health:
As someone who has trouble regarding mental health, AI tools also has helped me significantly in my journey to overcome these issues and it proved to be a valuable tool in my journey. However, I also felt overwhelmed by constant texts from AI bots and apps and also felt immense pressure to reach the goals set up by the AI apps which sometimes exacerbated the anxiety and depression symptoms
1.How can AI be used to support Mental Health?
AI developed virtual assistants and chatbots can provide information and help to the people suffering from Mental health
2.Can AI replace human therapists?
No, the human therapists have the ability to understand emotions of the patients and understand them which is not present in Artificial intelligence. So,it cannot replace human therapists.
3.How can we ensure that AI is used ethically in the mental health treatment?
Mental health professionals should work with the AI developers to develop the AI tools by considering the ethical and moral values in mind
4.Are there any risks in using AI in mental health?
The main risk in using Artificial intelligence in mental health treatment is if the tool being used is not validated and regulated regularly to ensure its safe and effective use in the treatment.
Hi, I’m Affan lateef , a pharmacist by profession. I have a degree in pharmacy and over 5 years of experience helping people achieve their health goals. I write about various topics like health, artificial intelligence in health, mental health, diet and weight loss. Follow me here on these platforms given below.