Social media has the potential to expose our deepest struggles and challenges to the public. While it too often serves as a soapbox for trolling and bullying, it also connects people to communities in ways previously unimagined. I probably never would have known I suffered from misophonia if not for the Internet; now, a thriving community exists, in which sufferers share tales, problems, and solutions.
The same is true of depression, one of the most widely experienced psychological disorders on the planet. Earlier this week I learned of a friend whose son, age 21, “lost his longtime battle with depression.” An aspiring musician, the family asks that friends and family donate to the Afro-American Music Institute in lieu of flowers. There’s no dearth of reasons to criticize the behavior on social media, but we have to remember the power of connection as well.
Especially when it comes to depression, which affects over 16 million American adults every year, as well as a growing number of teens. One of the main challenges for those experiencing depression is not knowing where to turn. Twitter is likely not the first place you’d go, yet when a woman recently tweeted at Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon asking how to deal with depression, it didn’t take him long to reply:
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