Mental Health Misinformation

Enjoyed listening to this Psych Central podcast about telling fact from fiction when it comes to mental health info. Dr. Grohol talks with Gabe about two things that I have definitely seen over and over. (But the information he shares about bad studies, and low quality journals is also worth thinking about.

  1. Misleading, or attention-grabbing headlines that make claims that aren’t really in the study. (“X causes Y”, when the study actually simply said there is an increase of Y when the subject has more X, but we don’t know why.) We see this online all the time. I share articles like this myself, but I’m usually careful about making those types of claims, instead trying to focus on studies that make sense, or that might lead to more interesting studies down the road. I think it is important to continue to do rigorous work to find more treatment options that work for more people, but I also accept that some of the “easy” solutions we often see in headlines, are based on an uninformed opinion of a part of a study. (For example, what I recently wrote about ACE scores not being the same as fate.)
  2. Like Gabe and John, I am a huge proponent people sharing their individual stories. It helps people feel supported and less isolated when their struggles try to keep them isolated, but any one individual story is just that. That individual’s story. What works, or doesn’t work, for them, may be completely different than what works for you. That’s to be expected.

Take a listen, and be more mindful of what you read online, and what you share online.

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