Social media is such a progressive and recent form of communication. Social groups and mere strangers are able to unite together over topics like never before. It is both a very intimate and open process, some using social media as a journal or as a place to vent. A recent hashtag, or topic indicator, #MyDepressionLooksLike, has been a conversation starter for people around the world to share on Twitter in just a few words what depression looks like for them. Some have shared dark moments of isolation, and others the ups and downs of triggers and depressive states. Having so many unique and real experiences shared helps open up topics like depression for friends and family member to bring up, and for communities to break down the stigma and begin supporting their friends through emotional recovery.
Social media, like any public forum, does open itself to criticism and negative comments, so it takes courage to post truly personal and authentic content. In lieu of negative feedback, many who have posted about their depression have found an overwhelming sense of support and encouragement. It has been a time for people to share that they too have struggled with depression.
When someone shares what depression looks like in their daily life, it gives all of those online the opportunity to see how real and impacting depression is, and that it effects friends and loved ones in deeply personal ways. Depression can be extremely isolating, and make people feel unreachable. When we use unconventional settings to connect and reach out, even in moments of person pain, we make a step forward to connecting with others. There is help for depression, and recovery for mental illnesses like it.