New app warns Netflix viewers with PTSD about content that may trigger panic attacks
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is caused by several things, and the panic attacks associated with it can be triggered several ways.
And now, there's a new tool online that can help the user avoid a possible trigger.
"I'm a software engineer. I went to coding bootcamp in order to improve my skills and to become a better engineer."
Meet Danielle Leong. As part of her final project for a training company called Coding Dojo, she's developed an app that can help everyone from soldiers to secretaries.
"PTSD can happen to anybody whose experienced any kind of traumatic event," says Leong.
The 28 year-old has created an app called "Feerless." It's designed to work with Netflix. Someone with PTSD uses the app while watching a show that may contain images that could trigger a panic attack.
"They'll get a 30-second head's up, in case something happens," explains Leong. "And then they can decide whether or not they want to keep watching."
As I was speaking with Danielle, I assumed she must know someone; perhaps have a friend or family member with PTSD, and that THAT'S the reason she created the app.
But I couldn't have been more wrong.
"So, I actually have PTSD."
It was not from an experience as a soldier.
"It happened because I was sexually assaulted."
It's very normal for victims of sexual assault to experience PTSD. And Danielle obviously is willing to do anything she can to prevent a repeat of "the incident."
"One day, I was watching 'Sons of Anarchy' on Netflix, and one of the main characters was gang raped. It triggered my PTSD. I actually lost several days. I don't remember what happened," Leong recalls. "I got panic attacks and flashbacks. But when I came out of it, I thought, if only I had known that was going to happen and if only I'd known it was going to be that bad, that I wouldn't have watched that show."
The new app known as "Feerless" relies on crowd-sourced information to work properly. In other words, Danielle needs people who don't suffer from PTSD to download the app and help flag programming that may trigger an attack.
"They can go to feerless.us and download the app. If they see someting they are more than welcome to report it. I'm hoping with more people using it, the more information we get in it, the better experience for more people."
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