User updates on Facebook could help understand and potentially treat mental health disorders, research finds study published in the medical journal The Lancet Psychiatry. Social networks can even be used in the future to provide support and interventions, especially for young people.
More than a billion people around the world use Facebook daily and 92% of teenagers use this site every day to divulge information about their lives and moods. This is why researchers at the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom believe that this way of discussing and revealing one’s social life could be used to provide data to deepen the understanding of the appearance from the first years of the mental illness.
Detecting and treating mental disorders thanks to Facebook
“Facebook is very popular and could provide us with a wealth of data to improve our knowledge of mental health disorders such as depression and the schizophrenia“, explains Dr. Becky Inkster, researcher in the Department of Psychiatry and author of the study. “Its scope is particularly wide, allowing us to reach groups that have traditionally been difficult to reach, such as homeless youth, immigrants, people with mental health issues and the elderly.”
But Facebook could also be used as a therapeutic tool. “Facebook connections can help those who have reduced self-esteem and provide companionship for people who are socially isolated,” says Dr. Becky Inkster.
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