School Students Use “TikTok” to Diagnose Mental Health Issues

Concerns are growing among teachers and the medical community, after many school students admitted to using the “TikTok” app to diagnose their mental health issues.

According to a new survey conducted by the American newspaper EdWeek, 65% of teachers said they have seen students use social media “sometimes” or “often” to diagnose their mental health conditions, while 68% said students have used social media to diagnose mental health issues in others.

Around 55% of students said they have used social media to diagnose their own mental health issues at least once, while another 28% said they do so “sometimes,” and 10% confirmed they do so “all the time.”

Don Grant, National Advisor for Healthcare Device Management, told Yahoo that influencers and online groups “convince these children that they are afflicted with these diagnoses.” When asked “where did you get this diagnosis from?” they respond: “There is an influential person,” or “I took a test,” or there is a group on social media talking about this issue.”

Kenzie Haddock, Licensed Professional Counselor, pointed out to WPDE that this leads to mismanagement of symptoms… because if someone is suffering from bipolar disorder, the treatment is not the same as for anxiety disorder. The treatment for depression is not the same as that for borderline personality disorder, which can lead to mismanagement of symptoms, which may worsen the situation.”

On the other hand, Kristin Grasmick, who studies the impact of technology on children, told EdWeek that while some people who post information about mental health on TikTok base their advice on their own experiences or cite research, identifying some mental illnesses can be difficult even for experienced doctors with genuine professional qualifications.

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