Instagram and Mental Health Warnings
When I’m feeling down, I like to open up Instagram and search for a few different hashtags. I usually search first for #depression, #depressed, then #suicidal.
When you search for hashtags related to depression, suicide, or eating disorders, you are met with a content advisory warning that states "For more information and support with suicide or self-harm please tap on learn more." When you tap Learn More, you are taken to a help page with advice and the contact information for agencies that can be of help.
As of this moment there are nearly 10,600,0000 posts tagged with #depression, 11,700,000 tagged #depressed and 5,800,000 tagged #suicidal.
Obviously there is a lot of pain in the world, and Instagram has become a place for people to reach out to one another and open up conversations about difficult topics. I find myself browsing through these posts and often commenting with words of support and encouragement. When I'm feeling down, it makes me feel better to have conversations with people that are also struggling.
I find myself using phrases that my therapist has been trying to drill into my head. Feelings are not facts. Remain in the present. Just get through this moment. Somehow by saying these things to other people, they become more real for me.