one question JD HartiganAssistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Mental Health in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, conducting interdisciplinary research informed by life history and evolutionary perspectives.
Does TikTok Make Kids Sick?
S.Part of what’s happening on TikTok, especially with young adolescent women, is contributing to clinic presentations, consistent with some sort of social contagion effect on mental illness-like behavior. This includes more recent tic-like behavior. This is a more physical manifestation similar to that seen in Tourette syndrome and clinical cases of autism in young individuals.There have been many reports about it, and I General psychiatry.
Additionally, there are many individuals who post content that diagnoses themselves with classic symptoms associated with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or conditions consistent with a classic diagnosis. But it’s clearly more of a performance thing. It does not really diagnose true classic cases of self-diagnosed things like ADHD, depression, and borderline personality disorder. These are not diagnoses by a clinical expert. This is happening more and more on TikTok, but it’s also happening on Instagram, whose origins can be traced almost all the way back to Tumblr. It is a personality-like disorder associated with cancer, in which an individual emerges to assume a new identity, and that identity is associated with mental illness.
What prompted me to write this article, which reviews the literature and draws attention to these issues, is the paucity of papers that bring together information from empirical research and broader public debate. Bringing these two aspects together was part of the impetus for this paper. Another part was about the immersive nature of audiovisuals on TikTok and Instagram. The algorithm reinforces, amplifies, and exacerbates identities regarding mental illness and the symptoms patients are experiencing. It amplifies the psychopathology of the personality giving rise to other aspects they identify with, such as common clinical psychiatric illnesses.
Much of what is happening on TikTok is skewed among adolescent girls. Female adolescence is more commonly seen with increased depression and anxiety, as well as other personality traits such as neuroticism. This is hormonally mediated during this rather important adolescent transition. Many tendencies to experience emotions can be amplified.
You can think of TikTok as incubating what’s already lurking in people. Even in the absence of an actual clinical intervention or diagnosis, there are individuals who seek to embody their identity around inaccurate or problematic diagnoses and positively reinforced personality traits. It creates this amplifying mixture of symptoms, shared with others and reinforcing each other. It may not be dissociative identity disorder or severe depression. They may not reveal the actual organic behaviors traditionally associated with their diagnosis. Examples include narcissism, borderline personality disorder, and schizoid personality disorder.
If the diseases they self-diagnose are presented as their identity, what is more concerning to me is how it shapes the actual professional understanding of these disorders. Incubation in collective groups can lead to groups forming coherent activist identities. For example, the disassociated identity plural community has become a full-fledged community that promotes non-consensus-based ideas of reality. If these communities become more involved in public debate and demand that disorders be viewed in the way they present them, it may influence clinical views of how these disorders present themselves. It is possible that once people reach a certain threshold of identifying with mental illness, we will have a professional understanding, diagnosis or manual of what these disorders are and how to view them. can be pseudo-normalized.
If you have three different personalities that exist or change, non-consensual reality is defined differently than the normal functioning of one individual being intact and interacting with the world as such. The non-consensus based reality could be that someone lives on Mars or thinks there are dinosaurs in the streets. If that’s seen as okay, everyone can have their own non-consensus-based reality, but that wreaks havoc on what we see as chaotic thinking and chaotic thinking. There is the concept of critical psychiatry. The stigmatization of disability is that it is harmful. So normalize and destigmatize. But the line between removing the stigma of something and normalizing it is becoming a blurry line.
Lead Image: ProximaCentauri1 / Shutterstock