Recently an analysis found that of 500 videos with hashtags #mentalhealthtips or #mentalhealthadvice, mental health professionals found that 83.7% were misleading and 14.2% of advice was actually dangerous.
Information on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was found to be most inaccurate, with 100% of videos containing misleading information. Bipolar disorder was a close second at 94.1%, followed by depression at 90.3%. Among videos on anxiety 89.6% were misleading, and videos for general problems weren’t much better, with 81.7% found to be misleading. Misleading information was seen in 69.2% of videos purporting to help with trauma.
This was not surprising considering that 91% of the influencers were not qualified to give mental healthcare advice. It takes years of training and studying to become a psychiatrist or clinical psychologist. Of the 91% unqualified “therapists,” 99% did not advertise the fact of not having the proper qualifications.
While some of the information found online can be helpful, it is important to seek out qualified help by mental health professionals, and a 60 second video is no substitute for cognitive-behavioral therapy, as each case is unique.