Research shows you can tell if someone has depression based on their Instagram feed


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Research shows you can tell if someone has depression based on their Instagram feed

And it might be more accurate than a doctor

The reason we’re so particular about curating our Instagrams and online personas is because in 2018, it’s the first version of us anyone sees and everybody wants to make a good (read: hot) impression.

Whether they're swiping through photos of us on Tinder, or scrolling through our Instagram which was suspiciously linked to said Tinder, they're making judgments abut the type of person we are and the type of relationship they might have with us. Which is like, a lot of pressure.

But a new study carried out by Harvard and UVM suggests just because things seem perfect on the surface doesn't mean there isn't some shattering underneath. Through 43,950 images from 166 different accounts, the study analyzed Insta users in an attempt to diagnose their depression. The study says 71 of the 166 users were clinically diagnosed prior to the study, but remained anonymous until it was over. Here's what they found:

Depressed users post way more often

The study found people posting more often were more likely to be depressed, than those posting a few times a month, or not at all.

So those girls who look like they're always brunching, or clubbing or clubbing while brunching probably feel the pressure to keep that image up versus people who are actually out enjoying themselves and the company they're with.

i’m bloody tipsy

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I wish I could be the latter.

They're less likely to heavily filter

Aesthetically, the study found depressed users are more likely to either use #NoFilter, or to use a light filter, than to absolutely blast the shit out of their photos on VSCO.

They're more likely to post selfies

The study also found the body count on Instagrams for depressed users tends to be far lower, not only because they're less likely to be posting group photos, but because they're more interested in posting selfies or photos of themselves alone than anything else.

bathroom shots

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In the end, the study proved to have a 70 percent accuracy rate of recognizing depression via the photos, compared to the current accuracy diagnosis figure of 42 percent by doctors, meaning diagnosing depression through social media might just be the future.


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