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Social media can affect how you view mental illness

social media mental health

A new study has found that social media can affect how people view mental illness. When young people read positive posts conveying a “growth mindset" towards mental illness, they tend to become more willing to seek treatment. But posts with a "fixed mindset" make them believe that mental illness is innate, fixed, and therefore impossible to change.

Growth mindset refers to the belief that a personal attribute, such as mental illness, can be changed or improved with effort. A fixed mindset is the belief that a personal attribute cannot be changed, no matter how hard you try.

The study was done on X (formerly Twitter).

One tweet conveying the fixed mindset read "I can't wait for my seasonal depression to be over so that I can get back to my regular depression."

One growth mindset tweet was captioned "I got this" to a meme about anxiety.

As you can see, these tweets are quite simple and things you come across every day. But they're subtle and powerful.

It all comes down to wording. Indeed, words are powerful.

Let's face it; young people are easily swayed by what they see and hear. And they especially spend a ton of time on social media. In short, many young adults build their values, culture, fashion, and lifestyle around what they consume online.

Social media has become so influential that a subtle post worded a certain way can affect how people think.

Now, imagine when someone struggling with depression comes across a fixed mindset post. It may push them further into that well of hopelessness. But posts portraying mental health as something you can take control of and recover from can influence the individual to want to take action.

The study results showed that people who read the growth mindset tweets were more likely to say depression and anxiety are treatable and they can do something to improve their condition.

Those exposed to the fixed mindset tweets said the opposite.

The bottom line?

You want to be careful what you consume online. Social media can both be a force for good and for evil. For your best interest, follow pages and handles that promote health and well-being and block those that spread negativity.

Need help?

At Hope Mental Health, we provide safe effective Psychiatric Care in Boise & Meridian, Idaho, SLC & the Wasatch Front, Utah. Also serving OR, AZ, NV, WA & FL.

We’d like to speak with you. Contact us now.

Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu H. Woodland, PMHCNS-BC, APRN Satu Woodland is owner and clinician of Hope Mental Health, an integrative mental health practice located at Bown Crossing in Boise, Idaho. She sees children, adolescents, and adults.  Ms. Woodland with her background in nursing, prefers a holistic and integrative approach to mental health care that addresses the mind and body together. While Ms. Woodland provides medication management services in all her patients, she believes in long-lasting solutions that include a number of psychotherapies, namely cognitive behavioral therapy, exposure and response prevention therapy, attention to lifestyle, evidenced based alternative psychiatric care and spirituality. If you’d like to gain control over your mental health issues, call Hope Mental Health at 208-918-0958, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an initial consultation.

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