Depression is a disease that is still not talked enough about in society. And there Twitter wants to help. The subject is discussed under a number of different hashtags. The actions #WhatYouDontSee, # 3GoodThings and the Dutch #openup are examples of this.
The hashtag #WhatYouDontSee summarizes the stigma of many people affected by depression. At first glance a depression is not visible and that is why many people see it as ‘normal’ sadness. In reality, it is a serious and often deadly disease. The popularity of the hashtag #WhatYouDontSee helps to change this perception. This is how attention is paid to the subject, the Tweets awaken understanding and possibly even save lives.
Last Saturday, April 7, it was World Health Day. This year was the slogan “Universal Health Coverage”. The focus was on extensive medical care and quick access to treatment. Many patients who suffer from depression have to wait a long time for an appointment with a therapist who do need them urgently. While others do not even want to go into treatment, because they are afraid of exclusion. Reducing these inhibitions and fears to facilitate access is an important task for our society. The struggle to break through the stigma of depression takes place every day on Twitter.
Via Twitter, people can get in touch directly with organizations and volunteers who offer support. Being able to talk about it and exchange ideas is very important for people who suffer from depression. This makes hashtags so powerful: it brings those affected together with people who can help, regardless of time and place. By using the hashtag, people from all over the world can come together. This can eventually break the stigma of mental health.
Sometimes it’s the little things that do it. The hashtag # 3GoodThings was created to encourage people to share Tweets about the positive moments in life. The Tweets motivate and give hope to others.
More than 4/10 young people suffer from psychological problems. Still, there is still a gigantic taboo on openly talking about your burnout, depression, anxiety, personality or eating disorder. While talking is very important. That is why NPO 3FM has joined forces with MIND and encourages young people to come out of the closet with #openup with their psychological complaints.
The hashtag #faceofdepression answers the important question: ‘What does a depressed person actually look like?’. Many people have a wrong idea of this. The photos shared with this hashtag show that people with depression actually conceal these thoughts and do ‘just’ normal.
Recently, the discussion on the subject of ‘depression’ was fueled again in the Netherlands. This was because radio DJ Stephan Bouwman of Q-music spoke openly about his depression on the radio. Many people reacted to the item and also encouraged other people to talk about it openly.