What Does My Instagram Say About My Mental Health?

Sammy Nickalls reports for Levo.com August 08, 2017
Your Instagram says plenty about you—more than you think. A new study from researchers at Harvard University and the University of Vermont found ways in which people with depression tend to use Instagram differently.

ABC News reports that Andrew G. Reece and Christopher M. Danforth spearheaded the study, which analyzed almost 44,000 Instagram photos from 166 participants. While, of course, everyone (and their mental health expression) is different, people with depression tended to not use filters or to “disproportionately favor” the Inkwell black-and-white filter.

Instagram users with depression tended to make the color scheme of their photos “bluer, grayer, and darker,” according to the study, and they were more likely to post photos with faces, but with fewer faces per photo.

While another recent study linked the risk of anxiety and depression to social media usage, this new research suggests that mental illness can manifest itself in public posts.

Globally, more than 300 million people suffer from depression, according to the World Health Organization. Meanwhile, up to 80% of individuals don’t seek treatment.

It goes without saying that Instagram isn’t the same as a medical diagnosis, and if you’re experiencing symptoms of depression, you should seek proper treatment from a health professional. For more information and resources, visit the National Institute of Mental Health’s website or speak with an expert about your treatment options here.


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