The joy or grief: what social networks do with my depression

The joy or grief: what social networks do with my depression

Alex Riley from the English city of Bristol is writing a book about how people from different countries trying to cope with depression — including through social networks. In this article he tells us about his experience. Does he appeal to the “Twitter” and “Facebook” or made his condition even more unbearable?

In November last year, as the coming winter is more and more taken away from us the warmth and light I felt inside me builds up and grows dark.

A bout of depression that engulfed me was unusually strong — the most violent for the entire preceding year. I urgently needed help. It seemed to me that even here, here, and thoughts of suicide will be embodied in their specific implementation.

Psychotherapist to whom I have addressed before and they said if it gets worse, dial the number of the “Samaritans” (national volunteer organization in the UK providing assistance in crisis situations. — Approx. translator). Not only to help me personally, but also to remove the stress of talking on the subject of my relations with loved ones.

It’s not so easy to see a loved one curled up in the fetal position, desperate, lost interest in everything around him.

Worse, it will often be impossible to do anything. In this regard, the sense of hopelessness covers and your loved ones.

And now, curled up on the edge of the couch, I dialed 113 and 116 began to hear long beeps. Still ringing. Beeps. There was no answer. No one cares about me, I thought. I called for another hot line — the “crisis” as they call it in our city organization of Bristol Mental Health.

I replied a female voice. “Hello. What’s your name?” — “Alex”. “Hello, Alex. How are you?” — “Excuse me,” said I, and wept.

I cried and could not stop.

The woman on the other end of the phone line said everything was normal, so I was in no hurry, I have time.

But as time at me was not. Tying up your phone line, I took it from others, who I seemed to need even more urgent help. I just didn’t have the time that I was spending with this woman. And I hung up. Hating myself and feeling extraordinary lonely, I opened Twitter. If I can’t talk, then at least write.

And I wrote what happened with me, adding that for the eighth month of waiting to see a specialist in cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). “And nothing,” I wrote at the end. And began to wait for the reaction.

* * *

We all have different experiences with social networks — “Facebook” or “Twitter” are all different, evoke different emotions.

Similar is the case with depression — it’s different for each, not like the others, with their feelings and thoughts dependent on the individual environment or from the genes. It is unique for everyone who suffers from it.

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So I’m not particularly surprised that to draw conclusions about what kind of influence each other social networks and depression, is quite difficult.

There are, however, some General patterns. Since 2010 several studies have been conducted, which, for example, found that more frequent use of social networks — especially Facebook — can be associated with depression or at least with similar symptoms.