Armchair Psychology on Social Media: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – A Little Bit Human




In this article:

  • Social media provides a space for people to share their experiences and learn more about mental health issues that have traditionally been stigmatized.
  • But when unlicensed content creators present their opinions and unresearched claims as verifiable facts, it can create a lot of problems and confusion around the topic.
  • From unqualified diagnoses to pathologizing healthy behavior to trivializing a real disorder for the people who actually have them, there’s a dark side to social media psychology.
  • Despite these dangers, mental health professionals still believe that, when used carefully, social media can be a great tool for guiding people toward the help they need and learning more about the resources available to them.

Mental health has always been an important part of our overall health, but it hasn’t always gotten the same attention or prioritization that physical health gets.

Enter the pandemic, and people suddenly started understanding just how important mental health actually is. According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of depression and anxiety increased by an alarming 25% worldwide during the first year of the global health crisis.

As the mental health crisis grew in the past two years, so did the reliance on digital technology. The combination of these trends led to new practices, like teletherapy and more open discussions on mental health in digital spaces.

There was also a flipside to taking all of our mental health concerns to social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, though. Here, we’ll explore how psychology exists in the social media environment and what good, bad, and ugly has come out of it. 

Social media has played an undoubtedly significant role in changing the way we communicate, do business, and socialize with one another. Now, it has also revolutionized the way we approach mental health. 

Therapist Jaime Mahler talks about how platforms like TikTok are paving the way for mental health advocates who are sharing their experiences and reducing the long-standing stigma on medication and certain mental health conditions. 

“Then we also have therapists on the app explaining things in unique ways,” Mahler adds. “Creating visuals or showing the application of how something …….


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