Real Life vs. Online Life: How Social Media Is Hiding Depression
Health and Wellness

Real Life vs. Online Life: How Social Media Is Hiding Depression

How social media is hiding depression.

2157

May is mental health month, and building awareness is the key to helping those suffering from mental health disorders. Are you aware of how difficult it is to spot those suffering from mental health disorders? It is likely that you may have heard about the beautiful and popular University of Pennsylvania track star, Madison Holleran, who tragically took her own life last year. She exhibited no warning signs of depression or suicidal thoughts. According to friends and family, she seemed happy, and her social media accounts corroborated this. Sadly, her social media posts created a false sense of well being. With so much focus on social media, we become so concerned with how our lives appear online. But what happens when our online lives are a lie? With a little help from Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, we are able to create an identity that we want to put out to the world. We are able to decide how our friends, family, and even strangers, see us. The power to decide what to post online bears with it the risk of creating a false persona that casts a shadow over reality.

Think about the thoughts that go through your head when you're about to post an Instagram picture, most likely they are along the lines of “do I look skinny and tan in this?" or “wow look how fun", etc. But as much as we want to share the highlights of our lives, it can be easy to assume that other people are truly as happy as they seem on their Instagram account. In fact, this is simply a highlight reel, a falsified life, that includes only their best moments, which have been filtered and edited. As much as we are aware that some people don't look the same in real life, try not to forget that they might not feel the same in real life as well.

Mental health disorders, especially among young adults, still carry a strong stigma that can often prevent people from admitting they need help and getting it. If gone untreated, they have the potential to end in tragedy, not to mention making day to day life near impossible. While many initiatives have been taken to raise awareness about mental health, many still believe that it doesn't affect them. While you yourself might not be suffering, don't be too quick to assume that those around you are as happy and carefree as they might seem on social media. If something seems off with one of your friends, don't brush it off. They may need help but are too scared to ask for it. Many people keep their suffering hidden and even a little glimpse you might see could be a sign that they need help.

Though the awareness has been raised, the prevalence of people with mental health disorders is becoming alarmingly more common, especially among young adults in college. According to a survey of advisors from the Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors, 41.6 percent of college students claimed anxiety as a concern, followed by 36.4 percent saying depression, and 35.8 percent with relationship problems. Unfortunately, 19 percent of directors reported the availability of psychiatric services on their campus inadequate. These statistics make for a terrifying reality in which the rate of mental health disorders is increasing rapidly, a pace in which help resources on campuses are not keeping up with.

What can you do? Don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether it is for yourself, or for someone you know who might be suffering. There are resources available if only you will reach out to use them. Never assume social media is reality, and always be kind. You never know what someone is dealing with internally.


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: (800) 273-8255

Tallahassee Crisis Hotline: (850) 644-8255

Tallahassee Memorial Behavioral Health Center: (850) 431-5100

NOLES C.A.R.E: www.counseling.fsu.edu/for-students/nolescare/

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Lifestyle

10 Etsy Father's Day Gifts Under $40 To Support Your Dad And Small Businesses

Stores may still be closed, but the internet is still wide open. So, while you're already shopping online check out Etsy for your Father's Day needs and support small creators.

As June approaches, Father's Day is coming up quickly with it. While they may not ask for much, it's always a nice gesture to give your dad something special to share your appreciation. Although, at the same time, it might be difficult to find the perfect gift either for their humor or that will be practical.

On a normal occasion, it's simple to find a gift for your father figures in stores, but for the times we're currently in our access has become very limited. Small and independent businesses need help now more than ever, so what better time than now to support them? If you're still stuck on what to give for Father's Day, look to this list for some inspiration that won't hurt your wallet too much.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Helpful, Effective Mental Health Resources Specifically For The Black Community

These organizations are qualified, caring, and acknowledging the mental trauma individuals are experiencing.

On May 25, George Floyd died after being pinned to the ground by a Minneapolis police officer. In the last week, protests have sprung up across the nation, demanding justice for Floyd and accountability for police brutality. Social media has also seen widespread conversation regarding Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and racism in the United States. Today is #BlackoutTuesday, where many are sharing a single black square to represent unity and support for Black voices.

In light of the heavy climate that our country is facing, it is a safe assumption that many individuals' mental health may be suffering. We wanted to highlight mental health resources and organizations that are Black-owned and prepared to assist in whatever you're going through.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

15 Black-Owned Haircare Brands That Cater As Much To Inclusivity As They Do To Your Locks

Championing Black entrepreneurs who make some of our hair favorites.

The haircare industry is vast. With the rise of social media came hundreds of thousands of empowered, niche brands. Single entrepreneurs came out of the woodwork with hair brands that now, years later, have dedicated cult followings.

Of those multitudes of brands, few cater to all hair types, most made without regard for curly or coily hair. These brands, however, are different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

4 Women Of Color Share How Racism Affects Their Dating Lives, And Everyone Needs To Listen

"My race is typically a factor in almost everything I do, and with dating, it's no different."

Racism affects the daily lives of people of color in the United States, and other parts of the world, in some capacity every day. When it comes to dating and relationships, this is unfortunately no different.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

13 Movies And Shows On Netflix Directed By Black Men And Women You Need To Watch Now

Take the time right now to watch these fantastic films and TV shows directed by Black men and women.

Netflix

Netflix is notorious for getting us insanely addicted to watching TV and films. From documentaries, true crime, reality, and fiction, we get very sucked in.

Right now the American people are fighting for the lives of our Black brothers and sisters, so instead of watching "The Office" for the 30th time, take the time to watch these 13 films and TV shows directed by Black men and women.

Keep Reading... Show less

I love working out, it makes me feel great. It helps my mood, sleep schedule and I just feel overall healthier. Recently I wanted to focus more on my glutes than I previously had been. At the gym, I would just go to the squat bar to do my thing and call it a day. But since we have been home in quarantine I feel like squats just aren't doing it for me but even if I love doing them. Doing squats I always have felt does more for banging my thighs than it ever did for my butt. It made them so big, which I didn't mind except I felt it made my butt look pretty much the same. Straying from squats, and the fact that gyms will probably remain closed for a while, sent me on a fitness journey to see what other exercises I could do at home with no or very little equipment needed. Hopefully, these exercises will help keep your booty banging.

1. Diamond Leg Lifts

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

10 Podcasts On Race Everyone Should Listen To In Order To Be A Better Ally

Listen and learn, because knowledge is power.

Podcasts are such an integral part of some of our everyday lives that it can be hard to recall a time at which they didn't exist. Podcasts exist on about every single topic, from dating to celebrity gossip and Harry Potter.

Now more than ever, it's likely you're reeling from the news, and (hopefully) wanting to do something about it in order to educate yourself. Podcasts are one of the best ways to get the most up-to-date information in a conversational, personal way from some of today's top educators, scholars, and theorists.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

Stop Pitying Me Because I'm Single, I'm Very Happy With My Relationship With Myself

I don't need your opinions on why I'm single and you're not. We are two different people.

I'm so happy for my friends when they get into relationships, but that doesn't mean they get to have control over my love life, and that is what bothers me. For the record, I've been in four relationships, one lasting for three years, so I do understand relationships.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments