Diagnosed With Depression? Here Are My Top 10 Must-Follow Social Media Accounts
Navigating social media can be a bit tricky when you have any mental health conditions. For starters, there are studies linking social media use to mental health issues. This can be due to a number of factors such as FOMO (fear of missing out), comparing yourself to others, and feelings of isolation. In addition, as more influencers and creators are talking about mental health, there’s been an increase in misinformation. Social media can be triggering for some; constantly being inundated with tragic headlines or trying to dodge trolls can take a toll on our mental health. It’s important to use discretion when on social media, unfollow accounts that make us feel worse, and limit our time or take breaks.
That being said, it’s not all bad! Social media has been amazing for helping folks with isolating health conditions feel less alone and is a great tool to spark further education and conversations. In fact, some of the most comforting content that has helped me with my depression has come from social media.
Here are the accounts that I recommend giving a follow if you don’t already!
1. The Depression Project
This account is awesome because they consistently share posts about what it’s like to experience depression. Posts answering, “What does depression actually feel like?” or titled, “Someone In The Depression Fog May…” do an excellent job explaining the realities of depression. There are also posts about what to say or not to say to someone with depression, or tips for coping. This account is great for people with depression, but also for their loved ones who want to learn and understand more.
2. National Youth Advisory Council
Run by the Mood Disorders Society of Canada’s National Youth Advisory Council, this account is focused on youth mental health and I appreciate the holistic lens of discussing other issues impacting mental health, such as climate change, domestic violence, and LGBTQIA+ identities.
Disclaimer: I have been affiliated with MDSC and supported them over the past 8 years.
1. The New Happy
What I love about this account is the way it uses simple ideas and simple visuals to create posts that I always find calming. The use of white space and bright colors brings a lightness to talking about complex issues. When I find myself feeling more depressed than usual, I like to scroll through their posts because they are visually appealing.
This account feels a bit like a hug. Beautiful cartoons or art of animals are the focal point of each post, and include a reassuring phrase that you might need to hear today. The phrases range from believing in yourself to not feeling like a burden, and it can be nice to read these things from somewhere else when you’re too depressed to say them to yourself.
Short-Form Content That Makes You Think
1. We’re Not Really Strangers
The official account for a conversation card game of the same name, WNRS posts a mixture of reassuring signs from the “real world” (taped to a lamppost, on the side of a building) and questions from their conversation card game. They often make me reflect on my life and current mindset and can provide a gateway to meaningful conversations when my depression is making me feel isolated. Depression makes me feel disconnected more than anything else, and this account inspires connection.
2. Notes From Your Therapist
Depression has made me feel bad about a lot of my relationships; it’s made me feel like a “burden” to others, or like I’m “too much,” and ashamed for having emotional needs. This account posts pictures of small notes scrawled on plain paper and help quiet those feelings. The notes are simple, but they’re often the things I’m aching to hear from someone else or make me feel less alone in my experiences. One note reads, “feeling like emotional pain makes you unloveable is a hard thing to get over,” while another says, “I care about you and that includes your pain, your grief, and the things you’ll never be over.” OOF. Talk about relatable content!
1. Fear of Going Out
Because sometimes, you just gotta laugh. Depression makes me cocoon into myself, so this account describes me perfectly. It generally consists of compiled tweets, Tumblr posts, and texts guaranteed to give me a laugh on a bad day. The best way to get back in touch with friends after a depressive episode is to send a few of these memes for us to laugh together.
2. Anxiety Within
Using humor to spread mental health awareness, this account is similar to the previous one in terms of type of content. I often find myself sending these to friends, or receiving them from others with responses like “IT ME” or “I feel seen/attacked.” Sometimes it’s hard to talk seriously about the things we’re dealing with, so this is a way to shed some light without it becoming too intense. Of course, struggling with mental illness shouldn’t be reduced exclusively to funny memes, but it can be helpful to cope.
1. Yolanda Renteria
Yolanda is a therapist and somatic coach, and her Twitter threads are excellent. She carefully describes complex experiences in an easy-to-understand way, on topics ranging from expressing emotions, to loneliness, to rejection.
2. Sahaj Kohli
Sahaj Kohli speaks to the unique mental health challenges faced by children of immigrants through numerous threads and puts into words what so many of us experience but have never been able to articulate.
Social media can be a powerful tool for connection, healing, and support when used in ways that make us feel better about ourselves. Following these accounts won’t replace therapy or other tools used to manage depression, but it can help get your mind thinking of things differently or teach you something you didn’t know. This is by no means an exhaustive list of the dozens of accounts I love, but it may inspire you to find some more that you like! Have a favorite social media account we should follow? Let us know in the comments!
Getty Images photo via Tim Robberts