What You Need to Know about Depression and Social Media

What You Need to Know about Depression and Social Media.jpg

Millions of people experience depression sometime during their life.  It is caused by a variety of things from self-doubt, medical illness, job loss, medication side effects, loss of a loved one, and so on.  Studies have shown more people are using social media to express their depression, but in some cases people may not realize it is a form of depression or understand they are really depressed.  There are different ways people use social media to get help for their depression. Unfortunately, there is a downside of depression with social media being the brunt of something we wish we never saw in the first place.

Suicides on the Rise via Social Media

There have been multiple reports of people using social media to take their life.  When you see such reports people wonder why someone would do such a thing.  You often wonder if the person sought help or what their situation was that drove them to that decision. The act of taking your life or harming yourself on social media is an alarming trend on the rise.  Mental health professionals feel sufferers may feel comfort to share their feelings because they are unseen behind a computer screen when it may not be the best way to cope.

Knowing When Someone is at Risk

People with depression can feel hopeless and lost.  They may use similar words when online sharing their feelings with others.  Adults and people under 18 go online to share their thoughts.  Parents may not realize they have a depressed child, especially if they are not following them on social media or know who they hang out with.  If a person you know is online sharing related feelings and it seems sudden reach out to them.  Offer them support or help them get to someone that can help them.

Can Social Media Help Someone Depressed?

Yes and no.  It really depends on the situation of the person who is depressed. It can help because there are social groups and organizations with pages inviting people to contact them for further support.  Some pages are started by average people sharing personal situations and events in their life. In many cases, it helps to talk about what you are going through with others that can relate.  Some are not comfortable talking to someone in person, but this very action could be more beneficial than exchanging messages online.

On the other hand, social media may not be as helpful for different reasons. If a person is really depressed it can be difficult to make them do something positive.  You don’t know what else they are thinking beyond what they just typed on the page.  They could be at their last straw but what they share on the computer could make it hard to know where they stand mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Here is How You Can Help

If you or someone you know is depressed there are resources available.  You can take advantage of free options that include talking to someone on the phone or discuss options with a medical professional.  If the word suicide is mentioned seek help immediately.  Contact a local crisis center, a church leader, school counselor, or close friend or family relative.  Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.  There are helpful depression and suicide sources available via social media.  Look for organizations with a history of providing emotional and mental support for people with depression. Share your feelings with someone that cares and work on seeing things from a positive view.

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