Depression can be incredibly isolating not only because it may be characterized by a withdrawal from the social activities and interactions that normally give us joy, but also because – despite encouraging recent progress – outdated stigmas surrounding mental health issues often make people reticent to openly discussing their own struggles.
In fact, many people avoid confronting the reality of the disorder altogether by not seeking treatment. A recent study that examined medical record data from about 12 million patients found that only one-third of people newly diagnosed with major depressive disorder between 2010 and 2013 came in for any kind of treatment in the next 90 days. Past investigations have found similar results.
Given that depression affects more than 300 million people worldwide – eclipsing lower back pain as the leading cause of disability around the globe, according to the World Health Organization, media that show how normal depression and its symptoms actually are can be incredibly helpful for those struggling to feel seen.
One excellent source for this, surprisingly, is Twitter. In the latest example of the social media platform fostering a positive dialogue on depression, a user named M. Molly Backes wrote a series of tweets discussing how the multifaceted disorder affects her in ways that unaffected people might not expect. The posts, created on August 27, have since been liked and retweeted thousands of times.
Though the fact that the thread went viral is a pretty good indicator of its insightfulness, the responses further prove that @mollybackes is far from alone when it comes to the 'Impossible Task'.
If you are in need of advice, information on healthcare resources, or just want someone to talk to, call any one of these anonymous, toll-free, and 24-hour hotlines:
116 123 (UK)