Social networks and mental health

This is how social media can have implications for how we understand mental health.

Currently, mental health is a widely spread topic among the population, especially young people .

This presupposes a fantastic advance in terms of normalizing a previously stigmatized subject, but without a doubt it constitutes a double-edged sword. Let us see below some of the main risks involved in the massive expansion of this type of information.

Self-diagnosis and social networks

Obviously, self-diagnosis is never going to be a recommended way of approaching the understanding of mental health phenomena .

We have seen how the posts on it have proliferated exponentially in recent years and obviously there is an effort by many and many professionals to bring people closer to ideas on the same subject, but it ends up having its undesirable effects: by greatly simplifying the language of psychology and psychiatry to make it understandable to non-experts, part of the richness of its content and substance is also removed.

To the already widespread practice of self-diagnosis of all kinds of diseases in search engines such as Google, information of even worse quality is often added due to the lightness of many of the aforementioned posts, which do not have more information about their sources.

The above is more dangerous among adolescents. There is a kind of over-identification (and very lightly) with the possible symptoms of the different pictures typical of psychopathology, which often leads them to be pigeonholed into categories and diseases whose central aspects they do not manage , or not at all. Many times this results in phenomena of an identity nature, within which self-diagnosis becomes a central element in the definition of the person who uses it.

Search for easy likes, the mistake of some professionals

Everything mentioned so far becomes even more dangerous when the Internet and the sources that emerge from it are used as a substitute for professional criteria. And unfortunately, in the context of a culture that values ​​instantaneousness, speed and also values ​​the logic of self-help very positively, this happens too much.

It is even worse when we see mental health professionals delivering rapid diagnoses in spaces other than the clinic, in the mass media , since they contribute by delving into the previous logic simply to gain visibility and obtain their own benefits that can move away from the basic ethical principles. that should govern the professions that deal with mental health.

There is usually nothing wrong with giving tips or simple advice. Advice is not the same as a psychotherapeutic intervention. The first has to do more with a simple solution applicable to a generality of cases.

Psychotherapeutic interventions, on the other hand (whose place is that of the clinic and consultation), make sense in the particularity of a person’s problem and the search for alternatives and solutions that help to alleviate it. In general, what is found in the networks is more the former, but it is certainly not recommended if you try to apply the latter.

The difference between normalization and trivialization

There is a fundamental difference between normalizing and trivializing the suffering involved in the human experience. That it be normalized as part of life is even desirable, understanding normalizing as becoming part of our daily conversations, that the fact that the mental is as important as any other phenomenon involved in health is accepted or that it begins to gain more general knowledge on the subject.

Trivialization is another matter : not because we know that a psychopathology or some type of suffering can be highly prevalent in society and that we have more and more shared experiences about the same thing does not mean that they should lose their attention or perception of risk. In this context, the greatest dangers observed in social networks emerge: when all these topics become practically an object of consumption or a space for the appropriation of a generational experience, as occurs mainly among adolescents.

How to distinguish useful information

It is difficult to give general guidelines since the type of information that circulates is so varied, but in broad terms it is important to know who are the ones that produce it , in what subjects they are experts and what their sources are.


It happens in psychology and psychotherapy that there are many currents or approaches of thought that can be very diverse and even contrary to each other in some of their approaches, which is not in itself a problem, as long as substantive substantive arguments are presented. that substantiate what is being published and exposed. The three parameters mentioned above can be useful to analyze the quality of these arguments.


by Abdullah Sam
I’m a teacher, researcher and writer. I write about study subjects to improve the learning of college and university students. I write top Quality study notes Mostly, Tech, Games, Education, And Solutions/Tips and Tricks. I am a person who helps students to acquire knowledge, competence or virtue.

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