What Facebook says about your mental health
Tue, 05 Feb 2013 01:29:17 GMT —
Facebook is the world's largest social media network with more than 800 million users.
But your Facebook activity may reflect more than your social life-- it could also reveal the state of your mental health.
Donna Peissner, the Behavioral Health Director at the Northeast Missouri Health Council tells KTVO many people put everything they do on Facebook, from one hour to the next.
According to researchers at the University of Missouri whether you post once an hour, or once a month it can be an indicator of your psychological state.
"I think there are some indicators, yes, maybe somebody can get some help if they are depressed or saying some things about suicide. I think that's a good indication to help someone," Peissner said.
The social media power house has become such an integral part of our lives, that when patients need psychological help, they may hide facts about their lives from researchers. Hitting the "not now" button-- hampering a correct diagnosis.
Peissner tells us Facebook has a captive audience, and people often want to know what's going on and vent about it.
The study finds that some people exhibit social anhedonia, a condition characterized by the lack of pleasure from communication and interacting with others.
The symptoms ranged from social withdrawal to odd beliefs.
"Well I think it's important for people to try to find a balance. Know what their limits are. You don't what to put your whole life out there," Peissner said.
Peissner tells us many people find it hard to express themselves, so they use Facebook and other social media sites to post and vent.
The MU study finds that those people who suffer with anhedonia symptoms, are the same ones who posted less photos, had a lower friend count and communicated less frequently on Facebook.
It is still unclear whether or not therapists and psychologists can use Facebook to diagnose a mental health issue, but this MU study is the first step in finding a correlation.