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Depression Q & A: Facebook and Mental Illness

We are continuing with our weekly segment answering your questions about depression, anxiety, phobia and general life-problem. For this edition, we are responding to questions about loneliness from the website Quora , Youtube and Email. In the future, we hope to answer your questions, so please contact us via email (info@crossculturetherapy.com) or any of our social media accounts. All questions will be answered without using your name for reasons of anonymity.


Could mental health decline in youth be linked to Facebook?

When people use Facebook they usually do so because they are bored or because they want to distract themselves. So the person viewing the feed is doing so in a negative way. At the same time, the photos being uploaded to Facebook depict people in a positive light. Viewing positive pictures whilst feeling negative is the first reason for declining mental health. Then, there is the act of uploading photos. People upload photos to market themselves as happy or successful whilst knowing the full truth that they are not. The shame associated with depicting your life as happy whilst it may not be (essentially lying) may be another reason for declining mental health among youth. 

Another thing to consider is the over-exposure to moral outrage and the stress people endure at having to constantly adjust their views as to not offend what has become an increasingly frail audience. Let’s not forget the negative feelings associated with constantly having to apologise for something you may have written or depicted on Facebook. Finally, I want to point out that a lot of news outlets have Facebook accounts that rely on high view counts in order to sustain themselves. These accounts tend to be the reason why a lot of young people are over exposed to bad news both on a local and international level.

 





Just say you are destined to be a loser for life, like working a sucky job and coming home to be lonely with no hope of anything more. Or, just say you are being oppressed (like the black slaves were in the USA), and there is no way out. Or your in prison. What advice do you have for people who live in a cage?

Before I answer this question, I want to prequalify what I say by mentioning that I have not experienced oppression the way in which people who have been enslaved or in-prisoned have. Therefore my answer to this question will seem rather simplistic. I do however believe that this person has not been in-prisoned but is rather speaking from a place deep sorrow and depression. To him, I would recommend to look at the time you have left as an opportunity to put your life back together and to escape the feeling of oppression that you are experiencing. In this sense, life is like flying an airplane, if there is something wrong with the engine, be thankful that you have the altitude needed to solve the problem.

To people who really are oppressed or in-prisoned I would recommend a change of perspective. Find small things that you can cherish, no matter how mundane they may be, from talking to someone nearby to seeing something outside your cell window. Most people dealing with oppression also take solace in the fact that future generations may benefit from their hardship and motivate themselves through that.

 





Whenever I write about my depression I feel like I’m complaining. Is it better if I keep things inside to avoid seeming like I’m complaining?

I would not recommend to keep things bottled up but I can understand how you feel. It can be quite easy to talk about your problems with your friends but most of the time they ask questions and answer yours in a way that doesn’t work towards solving the problem. For more information on this please see the video below.

 





Those were my answers to these three questions. What did you think? If you have any comments or have a question that you want answered about your depression, anxiety, life-dilemmas, relationship issues and the like, send us an email at info@crossculturetherapy.com

Philip Andersson

Life Coach

Cross Culture Therapy

@CCTphilip


Depression Q & A: How will being a recluse and staying at home affect my depression?

Personally I do not think that becoming a reclusive will solve your problems. It may have a benefit in the short term because you are currently suffering from low-energy levels due to your depression but a prolonged period of solitude…


Philip Andersson – Counsellor

Philip Andersson is a life-coach who is currently studying to become a psychotherapist. He treats people suffering from depression, phobias and anxiety. Having been raised in Hong Kong and having lived in England and Japan as an adult, Philip also treats people who are overcome with feelings of displacement and rudderlessness associated with a global-nomad lifestyle such as Third Culture Kids, Cross Culture Kids, Migrants and Asylum Seekers.

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