May 5, 2023

Reddit posts reveal youth struggles with mental health and getting support

Teen looks at smartphone. (Photo: Getty Images)“My depression is causing me physical pain … I don’t know how to stop it.”

“I’m afraid if I ask for help … I’ll get called dramatic.”

“Would any of you have any idea of what to do? Because I definitely don’t.”

On the social media platform Reddit, teens and young adults detail their mental health struggles in candid, vulnerable posts that speak volumes about how stigma still deters many from seeking help.

It was a sobering takeaway for University of Alberta researchers who conducted one of the first investigations of youth mental health experiences by manually extracting and analyzing Reddit data.

“There’s been so much focus on mental health literacy, mental health campaigns and trying to increase awareness,” says Lisa Hartling, professor in the Department of Pediatrics and director of the Alberta Research Centre for Health Evidence (ARCHE).

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