Social media can help connect those with severe mental illness

Posted on October 21, 2014

Researchers found people with schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorder, or bipolar disorder are comfortable using a social media website like YouTube to provide and receive naturally occurring peer support. Researchers commented that they found it surprising that these people are so open about their illness experiences on public social media websites.

In fact, people with severe mental illness did not appear to be concerned about the risks of openly sharing their personal illness experiences because they really wanted to help others with similar mental health problems.

Researchers found that people with severe mental illness used YouTube to feel less alone and to find hope, to support and to defend each other, and to share personal stories and strategies for coping with day-to-day challenges. They also sought to learn from the experiences of others about using medications and seeking mental health care. It helps them to overcome fears associated with living with mental illness, and it also creates a sense of community among these individuals.

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Source material from Psych Central