This goes double, triple, maybe more, for mental health news and studies.
In today’s New York Times, Emily Parker writes about something that we all sort of know but don’t want to face: When it comes to fake news going viral, Facebook, Twitter, and Google aren’t the entire problem. We are.
We want the quick fix for something that science is still trying to fully understand, so we read headlines, and share them, without even bothering to read the story or try and understand what is really going on. We want someone, or something, to blame for any health issue, but especially mental health issues. So we are susceptible to the easy explanations, and to sharing things that do much more harm than good. It’s those sort of viral stories that create more stigma, essentially causing too many people to wonder why someone might be struggling when the “cure” is so easy, or when medication is so bad.
It’s way more complicated than that.