Social media gives millions of people around the world an opportunity to express themselves in the way that they want to. Online profiles and platforms changed the way we view ourselves. We have an opportunity to authentically express who we truly feel we are. That’s a broad implication for how humans regard themselves. We aren’t perfect beings and were never meant to be. Yet, in a modern day society that is ever increasingly striving for happiness and perfection, we feel that is the best version of ourselves. Profiles become more of a curated fantasy of who we want to be perceived as being rather than who we actually are. That, is, for some people.
Others have embraced social media is the chance to expose the not so perfect side of humanity. Great movements have started online encouraging people to take an honest look at themselves and the world around them. Mental health awareness has grown online. Body positivity has grown online. A few movements which have grown online have become problematic, concerning, and sadly, life-ending. Expressing feelings of depression, creating forums or chat rooms pro-self-harm and self-destructive behaviors, and even committing suicide live online have all started trending.
Social media was meant to connect the world and spread messages from one end of the globe to another. Mental health disorders like depression and addiction can be isolating. No matter how many “friends” one has online or engagements they receive from their posts, they are still alone behind their screens and keyboards. People take to their social media streams to express their depression, and take action against it.
What To Do
If you are concerned about a friend or a loved one’s mental health as it is being displayed online, it is important to reach out to a professional before you reach out to your friend. You want to approach the sensitive subject of mental health and suicide in a compassionate, non-triggering way, to the best of your ability. For immediate assistance, you can call 911 in your area or a crisis or suicide hotline:
KidsHelpPhone Ages 20 Years and Under in Canada 1-800-668-6868
First Nations and Inuit Hope for Wellness 24/7 Helpline 1-855-242-3310
Canadian Indian Residential Schools Crisis Line 1-866-925-4419
Trans LifeLine – All Ages 1-877-330-6366
After talking to your friend and encouraging them to get help, you can call Aurora Recovery Center. Our dual diagnosis treatment programs are open to serving those struggling with depression and difficult emotions. In dark times, let Aurora light the pathway to recovery. Call 844-515-STOP today for more information.