Exposure to unfiltered user-generated content related to mental health leads to users developing mental health anxiety.
Studies show that more people are consuming content related to mental health on social media. Many users turn to social media for mental health-related advice. Mental health issues are addressed under a wave of clickbait articles and uninformed posts on social media. Exposure to this unfiltered user-generated content leads to users developing mental health anxiety.
Anjana Suresh, a 19-year-old, recalled an incident when she saw a post titled ‘8 signs your depression is back’. “When I swiped through it, I felt I have all those. It got me in a panic situation. The thing is I see such posts on a daily basis”.
Psychologists say such posts are harmful because it leads to people self-diagnosing. Mindless content on serious mental health conditions often takes away the seriousness of the issue. “Mental health has become a very casual thing,” said therapist Shruti Desai. The self-help guide and advice given online can often be misleading. “You need insight, you need a knowledge and skill set of the thing. And that only a mental health professional can do.” Shruti Desai added.
Social media is an unfiltered space. Therefore, it is important to be careful about the content you consume, especially when it is related to sensitive topics like mental health.