Event Title

“This is what crazy looks like” a thematic analysis of mental illness narratives on Instagram

Start Date

8-11-2017 1:30 PM

End Date

8-11-2017 5:30 PM

Description

BACKGROUND. Numerous studies have shown that the media has produced and perpetuated distorted images of mental illness and the mentally ill as peculiar and different but also as dangerous through inaccuracies, exaggerations, or misinformation (Klin & Lemish, 2008). Negative social attitudes toward those suffering from psychiatric disorders that originate from misperceptions and stigmas are a key social and mental health problem (Corrigan & Penn,1999) and inhibit social integration, positive self-image and are cause for individuals to refrain from seeking treatment when they experience symptoms. GOAL. This study examines promotion of positive mental health through presentation of alternative narratives on social media. METHODS. Thematic analysis of messages posted by twenty users. Users were selected following Instagram search. The accounts needed to have at least three mental illness disclosures, either concerning treatment, experience or diagnosis, public and available to view. FINDINGS related to whether stereotypes were challenged or upheld, and the types of narratives that individuals describe. Messages reflected narratives of hope, journey, and despair. CONCLUSIONS: Social networks can be sites for communicating mental-health related narratives. Future studies should have examined audience’s responses to mental-health related narrative sharing.

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Nov 8th, 1:30 PM Nov 8th, 5:30 PM

“This is what crazy looks like” a thematic analysis of mental illness narratives on Instagram

BACKGROUND. Numerous studies have shown that the media has produced and perpetuated distorted images of mental illness and the mentally ill as peculiar and different but also as dangerous through inaccuracies, exaggerations, or misinformation (Klin & Lemish, 2008). Negative social attitudes toward those suffering from psychiatric disorders that originate from misperceptions and stigmas are a key social and mental health problem (Corrigan & Penn,1999) and inhibit social integration, positive self-image and are cause for individuals to refrain from seeking treatment when they experience symptoms. GOAL. This study examines promotion of positive mental health through presentation of alternative narratives on social media. METHODS. Thematic analysis of messages posted by twenty users. Users were selected following Instagram search. The accounts needed to have at least three mental illness disclosures, either concerning treatment, experience or diagnosis, public and available to view. FINDINGS related to whether stereotypes were challenged or upheld, and the types of narratives that individuals describe. Messages reflected narratives of hope, journey, and despair. CONCLUSIONS: Social networks can be sites for communicating mental-health related narratives. Future studies should have examined audience’s responses to mental-health related narrative sharing.