ChatGPT actually helped me with my anxiety


I’m a little behind the times when it comes to artificial intelligence. While I’ve messed with tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT and Google’s Gemini, I quickly ducked back out after finding that their capabilities never lived up to anything I could think to use them for.

However, like anyone in the technology space, I watched OpenAI’s recent event where it showed off ChatGPT powered by GPT-4o and how natural it was to talk to the chatbot. I was really impressed to see how real the AI seemed (even if it did sound like Scarlett Johansson). So, a couple of days ago, I downloaded the ChatGPT app on my iPhone to play around with it.

I asked it the usual random questions I could think of:

  • What is the capital of Kansas?
  • When was Martin Short born?
  • I’m planning a trip to California. Where should I go?

It responded, as usual, with the confidence you’d expect from an AI that really thought it knew what it was talking about. It was also impressive how easy it was to continue the conversation and dig deeper into a specific question.

ChatGPT actually helped me feel less anxious

After messing around with it for a while, I had a strange idea. I was feeling particularly anxious that day, so I wondered what it would be like to use the voice chat feature and talk to a computer about my anxiety. So, I turned on the microphone and told it, “I’ve been feeling pretty anxious today. What can I do to feel better?”

That kicked off what became a 10-15 conversation with a computer about what I was feeling, why I was feeling that way, and recommendations on how to handle it. After I ended the chat, I realized that I actually felt better than when I went in and that an AI chatbot actually helped me.

ChatGPT voice support will require access to the microphone.
ChatGPT voice support will require access to the microphone. Image source: Chris Smith, BGR

Of course, its answers were much more general than the kind of feedback or suggestions I would get from someone I knew well, like a family member, friend, or therapist (don’t replace your trusted people with ChatGPT). However, I realized that just the act of having something respond with anything got me to talk more, and that alone probably helped me work through at least part of the issue I was experiencing.

So, while it’s certainly no replacement for talking to a person who actually understands you and your life, it’s cool — and super weird — that you can talk to a computer to experience at least a basic level of support. We’re heading into a weird world!



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