Facebook can help you detect friends who may be suffering from depression.
The popular social media site has often been referred to as a kind of mini support group. It’s a place where folks can spill their feelings readily in an environment, that oftentimes, tends to be nonjudgemental.
Since Facebookers do express their feelings, if sadness, for example, is something that they are experiencing, then it will become evident in their postings.
There are some people who tend to vent their feelings without reservation and according to mental health experts, doing this is not a bad thing. On the contrary, it is a therapeutic process. Oftentimes, Facebook is a kind of journal writing exercise and can be influential in helping people overcome many emotionally draining reactions to adverse circumstances.
Depression is a mental health disorder that affects some 19 million Americans. It impacts all aspects of everyday life including eating, sleeping, working, relationships, and how a person thinks about themself. In fact, it affects so many people that it is often referred to as the “common cold” of mental illness.
If you are noticing that a friend’s status updates are constant expressions of saddness, helplessness or pessimism, or they are expressing thoughts of suicide or death, don’t just sit idly by, nod your head and continue to read through their cries for help. You can help that friend get the much needed help they are probably seeking.
Send the friend a private message — open the dialogue. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like: What’s going on? How can I help you?