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Are Depression Memes Making Your Teen More Depressed?

depression memes

Are Depression Memes Making Your Teen More Depressed?

Humor can be an effective defense mechanism when it’s used to reduce the intensity of a situation. Some parents worry that following social media accounts that post depression memes might make their teen more depressed by planting negative thoughts in their heads. However, when teens see posts that resonate with issues they’ve been struggling with it can make them feel less alone and help them see the situation from a different perspective. Sometimes, laughter is the best medicine, even around topics that should be taken seriously.

Are Depression Memes Toxic?

Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram have “hot words” associated with self-harm that automatically trigger messages to users about mental health and links to crisis hotlines that encourage teens to reach out for help offline. While some platforms have tried to ban graphic images of self-harm and suicide or text that seems to encourage them, there is less regulation around depression memes that are less graphic than actual depictions. These companies are aware that there is a delicate balance between removing content altogether and undermining social support. 

They Provide a “Socially Acceptable” Way to Talk About Struggles

There is a lot of stigma around mental health and many people don’t know how to talk about it without raising concern. Mental health memes don’t necessarily encourage depression. These memes can be a way for teens to express themselves and to feel comfortable talking about deeper subjects. As depression memes follow popular meme formats, they appeal to more than just teens with mental health struggles. By sharing difficult topics in a relatable way, other people see a glimpse inside depressed teen’s heads and are more understanding about the issues they face. 

They Give Teens a Language to Use

When teens interact with memes about mental health by liking them or sharing them, they are connecting with messages that speak to them. It’s not the same thing as reaching out for support, but it can give kids a language to use when they speak to one another. Many teens struggling with these thoughts have a difficult time naming exactly what it is that feels so empty or hopeless. Memes put a name to what they are feeling. 

The visibility of other people sharing similar thoughts reassures teens that their thoughts are not entirely irrational or unique. Memes use therapeutic language without sounding too clinical, which helps teens connect with the underlying messages of hope and community that they offer. 

They Connect Socially Isolated Teens To Other People

Teens who have been diagnosed with depression often feel isolated from their peers as they feel like they can’t relate to them or talk to them openly about their struggles. Social media is often seen as a place where people post highlights in their life, which is why it can be refreshing to see authentic content. As social media is playing a larger role in how teens today form and maintain relationships, it is important for teens to see their experiences represented online, so that they don’t feel excluded from “Internet culture.”

Sharing depression memes online may sound like a red flag, but talking about mental health is the first step to healing. If your teen posts memes about mental health online, check in with them about the content of posts. While it is important to talk to them about internet safety and privacy settings, sharing memes may be a way for them to communicate how they feel if they feel misunderstood offline.  The effect of social media on teen mental health depends on how it’s used. 

ViewPoint Center Can Help

ViewPoint Center is a specialty hospital for teens who struggle with depression and other mental health issues. ViewPoint Center a comprehensive therapeutic assessment facility that is licensed and provides 24-hour nursing. Viewpoint offers comprehensive assessments. Post evaluation, treatment plans are established to meet the unique needs of each student. By the end of the treatment period at ViewPoint, families have a clear understanding of the child’s diagnoses and are offered full guidance on how to move forward and seek proper treatment. ViewPoint Center is dedicated to helping students and their families seek the treatment and care they need to lead happy and healthy lives.

Contact us at 855-290-9682 for more information. We can help your family today!