Facebook may reveal your mental health
Your Facebook status may reveal more than where you had lunch this afternoon. Research published in the journal Psychiatry Research suggests that a person’s Facebook activity paints a more candid picture of mental health than self-analysis methods, especially for people on the schizophrenia-spectrum.
Usually therapists and psychiatrists rely on self-reporting methods to assess the state of their patient’s mental health. But that relies heavily on the patient’s memory, which may not be accurate. According to the study’s lead author, Elizabeth Martin, when patients shared their Facebook activity, their doctors were “able to see how they expressed themselves naturally.”
Everything from how many friends the person had, how often they posted on Facebook, what they posted on Facebook and what they concealed on Facebook provided key insights into the patient’s mental health, the researchers concluded.