Depression, like many mental health issues, can be a challenging condition to discuss openly – even with close friends and family.
Many people can wrongly view their mental health issues as weaknesses and this can consequently prevent them from talking about their struggles.
However, social media has now empowered people of all ages to confide in one another and discuss aspects of their lives which are viewed as taboo in the majority of situations.
‘#MyDepressionLooksLike’ is one of the latest hashtags to trend on popular social media website Twitter and is helping like-minded individuals to find one another.
By simply searching for the 22 character phrase, patrons of the platform can easily communicate with each other and explore their experiences with the widespread mental health condition.
More than simply providing an open medium of communication, the new Twitter trend also highlights less typical stories of depression.
Many view the condition as one which causes individuals to be afflicted with persistent sadness and, while this may be true for some, others may be affected in less obvious ways - #MyDepressionLooksLike helps to shed light on these cases.
Trauma, relationships, child birth, stress and even specific times of the year are just some of the many areas which can instigate the onset of depression and the associated symptoms can be just as varied.
Some less well-known symptoms of depression which have been explored through the new hashtag include lethargy, lack of motivation, headaches, increased irritability and even reduced appetite.
Twitter, which currently attracts over 310 million active monthly users, has allowed people from around the world to share inarguably honest accounts of what it really feels like to live with depression.
The introduction of this targeted hashtag emphasises the importance of open discussion and, also, shows how social media can be used to unite those who feel repressed by the conventions of society and the stigma surrounding their condition.
Viewing the experiences of others and interacting with them on a personal level helps people with depression to legitimise their symptoms and accept the situation they are currently in.
The immense amount of online activity circulating depression as a result of this hashtag will hopefully instil more confidence in those suffering from the condition to speak with loved ones outside of the digital domain.
As this news has shown, discussion allows for people to come to terms with their mental health concerns as well as discover ways to deal with their symptoms more effectively.
Encompass provides range of care services including supported living, respite care and day care support designed to improve the quality of life for people living with enduring mental health illnesses and learning disabilities.
Find out how Encompass can help you or a loved one by clicking here.