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How Social Media is Altering the Image of Mental Illness

I’ll admit, it’s pretty fascinating that we live in a world where you can connect with people across the world and join virtual communities of people who care about the same things you do.  But that also comes with negative consequences.  On the popular blogging site, Tumblr, there are very few rules as to what goes.  Blogs are focused on everything from food to fashion, art and music, and mental disorders.  While some accounts create a community of support for those suffering from illnesses like depression or self harm- the majority serve as a base full of triggering content.

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Mental Health Education from an Unlikely Source

Over lunch a few months ago my friend was telling me about her little sister, who is in eighth grade.  She explained how she is watching her sister grow up.  She spends more time on her appearance- she just learned how to use mascara and got eye shadow for Christmas.  She has a crush on the lead singer of a boy band.  But along with make up and boy bands, my friend mentioned how she’s starting to see her sister try to deal with new and more complex emotions.  

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A Never Ending Cycle: Substance Abuse and Depression

When I was walking through a lecture hall on my way to class, I heard a student tell their friend “I’m addicted to that TV show, I can’t stop watching it;” I didn’t think much of it until later that day I overheard another student say, “I think she’s just addicted to the attention.”  It was then that I noticed a trend.  Addiction- it’s a word that’s thrown around rather frequently, but when it’s used seriously no one really wants to talk about it.  When dealing with substance abuse, addiction can be a crippling and life shattering condition.  It’s a tremendously complicated and unforgiving sickness.  But what happens when it’s combined with an equally complicated illness?  Comorbidity between addiction and depression is very common and the two illnesses thrive off one another, creating a continuous cycle.

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Love and Sadness: Depression in Relationships

If you turn on the radio it’s likely you’ll hear a few love songs at the top of the charts and if you are searching for a movie to watch there’s a whole section of romantic comedies to choose from.  There’s even a holiday dedicated to love!  We live in a society where dating sites are plentiful and people enjoy talking about love- but one topic you don’t hear people talking about often is how mental illness can change the dynamics of a relationship.  Depression in particular can cause a happy relationship to turn upside down- complicating things for both members involved.

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Mood and Media: Does Social Media Cause Depression?

When was the last time you used social media?  When you woke up this morning? Waiting in line at the coffee shop? Right now?  The point is social media is a big part of our day-to-day routine.  Updates on events, relationships and even meals you’ve eaten- in today’s society, it’s not uncommon to share what you’re up to.  But this constant sharing (and sometimes over sharing) has been linked to an increase in the symptoms of depression and overall lower mood, making us reconsider our scrolling habits.