5+ Red Flags About Mental Health Content On Social Media 


5+ Red Flags About Mental Health Content On Social Media

The traditional image of therapy often involves a person reclining on a couch, delving into their innermost thoughts and feelings. In today’s digital age, therapy has taken on a new form, with individuals sitting on their couches at home, scrolling through a constantly refreshing stream of mental health content on social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram.

While this may seem therapeutic, experts caution that it should be approached with care. As an increasing number of psychologists adopt the role of mental health influencers, their posts on topics like attachment styles, unresolved trauma, and other contemporary mental health issues are reaching millions of people.

Undoubtedly, there are advantages to this trend. Evelyn Hunter, a counseling psychologist in Auburn, Ala., points out that we are emerging from an era when mental health was highly stigmatized, discouraging people from seeking help. Social media has played a role in destigmatizing mental health struggles and making them more acceptable.

However, there is a downside to this accessibility of information. It becomes challenging to discern which self-proclaimed experts are reliable and whether the information they provide can be trusted, leading to potential misinformation and misunderstandings.

Hunter emphasizes that mental health professionals active on social media should exhibit three key qualities: competence, a sincere interpretation of evidence, and integrity.

In light of these considerations, if you’re encountering mental health content on social media through your algorithm, it’s essential to be vigilant for warning signs:

1. Lack of Credentials

Reputable mental health influencers typically share their training, licensure, and areas of expertise. The American Psychological Association encourages psychologists to maintain updated personal and professional profiles.

When vetting professionals, Victoria Riordan, a licensed professional clinical counselor, advises checking their bio, which usually includes their credentials and areas of expertise.

A legitimate expert should also appear in multiple sources, such as Psychology Today, LinkedIn, or their private practice website. Verify their current licensing status through state licensing board websites or relevant professional associations.

2. Selling Products

While it’s natural for psychologists to promote their online courses or books, excessive promotion of products can be a red flag. It may indicate a focus on profit over providing quality education. The APA’s Ethics Code emphasizes the avoidance of conflicts of interest.

If you suspect a hidden business relationship, conduct additional research, and consider seeking clarification from the practitioner or unfollowing them. In extreme cases, you can report them to relevant licensing boards.

3. Jargon-Heavy Posts

Beware of accounts that inundate their posts with therapy jargon. Trustworthy professionals aim to make mental health accessible and digestible, avoiding excessive use of complex terms. If someone seems to be trying to appear more knowledgeable than they are or uses terminology you don’t understand, exercise caution.

4. Self-Diagnosis Or Labels

Avoid self-diagnosis based on social media content. Labels and diagnoses should come from qualified professionals. Internalizing online labels can lead to misunderstandings and potentially harmful actions. Mollie Spiesman, a licensed clinical social worker, recommends reflecting on why a post resonates with you instead of immediately accepting a self-diagnosis.

5. Interacting With Clients

Mental health professionals should maintain boundaries with clients on social media to protect confidentiality and professionalism. If you notice a practitioner engaging with their clients online, it’s a red flag and a reason to unfollow.

6. Promoting One Modality

Therapists may have preferences for certain therapeutic modalities, but they should not proclaim one as universally superior online. Every individual’s needs are unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Be cautious of influencers who oversell a specific approach.Therefore, while mental health content on social media can be informative and destigmatizing, consumers must exercise discernment.

Not all information will apply to every individual, and social media therapists are not a substitute for professional guidance. It’s essential to prioritize your mental health by seeking qualified help when needed and verifying the credibility of online sources.

Up Next

Combat Winter Blues: Expert Reveals 5 Ways to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

Ways to Beat Seasonal Affective Disorder

As the days grow shorter, and temperatures drop, a phenomenon known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) rears its head, casting a shadow of despair and guilt over many individuals. This condition, characterized by depression that follows a seasonal pattern, predominantly strikes during the winter months so it is important to learn ways to beat seasonal affective disorder.

Seasonal changes can prove to be particularly challenging for individuals grappling with anxiety, according to health mentor Cai Graham. She explained that as daylight dwindles and the sun’s presence diminishes, many individuals experience noticeable shifts in mood and energy levels.

Up Next

Gen Z Faces Alarming Rates of Anxiety Disorders, Earning Title of Most Anxious Generation

Most Anxious Generation

In a sobering revelation, a recent report from data management firm Harmony Healthcare IT has unveiled a deeply concerning trend among Generation Z (Gen Z) individuals and they are considered the most anxious generation. 

According to the report, a staggering 61% of Gen Z members have received a formal medical diagnosis for anxiety conditions, catapulting them into the unfortunate spotlight as a generation disproportionately affected by anxiety-related disorders.

Study To Understand Why Gen Z Is Known As The Most Anxious Generation

Up Next

Virtual Therapy Program Offers Promising Relief for Depression in Multiple Sclerosis Patients, Study Finds

Depression in Multiple Sclerosis Patients

In a groundbreaking development, a Phase 3 clinical trial has revealed that a remote cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) program, delivered through self-paced online modules, has demonstrated significant potential in alleviating depressive symptoms and enhancing the overall quality of life for individuals living with multiple sclerosis (MS). The study’s findings offer hope for overcoming depression in Multiple Sclerosis patients

Depression is a pervasive challenge within the MS community, affecting up to half of all patients at some point during their illness journey.

This psychological burden can be attributed to a complex interplay of neurological changes and psychosocial factors stemming f

Up Next

From Worried To Warrior: Helping Your Child Triumph Over Academic Stress 

academic stress in children

As parents, we all want the best for our children, and a significant part of that involves their academic success. However, in our pursuit of excellence, we sometimes inadvertently expose our children to academic stress. Academic stress in children is a pressing concern that affects students of all ages.

Why Addressing Academic Stress In Children Is Important 

Academic stress affects mental health in children. The intense pressure to perform well in school can lead to anxiety, depression, and burnout

Up Next

Get Ready To Talk: How Netflix’s ‘Sex Education’ Tackles Adolescent Sexuality And Mental Health 

Netflix's Sex Education

In a world full of adult TV shows and movies, Netflix’s Sex Education boldly stands out as a modern masterpiece that redefined the genre. This British drama, created by Laurie Nunn, has delighted audiences around the world with its unique blend of humor, heartfelt storytelling, and unflinching examination of adolescent sexuality and mental health.

At the heart of Netflix’s Sex Education is a diverse and complex cast of characters that evolve significantly over the course of the series, making it accessible to viewers of various ages. The main character, Otis Milburn, played by Asa Butterfield, epitomizes the awkward but intelligent teenager who struggles with sexual insecurities.

Up Next

Understanding Overthinking, Strategies for Management, and Knowing When to Seek Help


Overthinking, often referred to as rumination, is a mental process that involves prolonged, repetitive, and often negative thinking about emotions, personal concerns, self, and life experiences.

While this cognitive phenomenon may seem harmless, it can have profound effects on one’s mental health, potentially contributing to or exacerbating conditions like anxiety and depression.

In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of rumination, explore the reasons behind overthinking, offer strategies to manage it, and discuss when it’s essential to seek professional help.

Up Next

An AI-Generated Vincent Van Gogh Addresses Visitors at the Iconic Paris Museum

Vincent Van Gogh

In a groundbreaking fusion of art, technology, and history, an artificial intelligence (AI) recreation of the iconic painter Vincent Van Gogh has begun to confront profound topics, including suicide, as it engages with visitors at a prominent Paris museum.

This innovative approach to art and AI is sparking both intrigue and debate within the artistic and technological communities.

The AI-generated Van Gogh, designed to replicate the artist’s appearance and persona, was brought to life through a collaboration between a team of AI developers, historians, and the museum itself. Its purpose is to provide museumgoers with a unique and immersive experience, offering insights into Van Gogh’s life,