This study examines depression-related chatter on Twitter to glean insight into social networking about mental health. We assessed themes of a random sample (n = 2000) of depression-related tweets (sent 4-11 to 5-4-14). Tweets were coded for expression of DSM-5 symptoms for Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). Supportive or helpful tweets about depression was the most common theme (n = 787, 40%), closely followed by disclosing feelings of depression (n = 625; 32%). Two-thirds of tweets revealed one or more symptoms for the diagnosis of MDD and/or communicated thoughts or ideas that were consistent with struggles with depression after accounting for tweets that mentioned depression trivially. Health professionals can use our findings to tailor and target prevention and awareness messages to those Twitter users in need.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3650
Pages (from-to)351-357
Number of pages7
JournalComputers in Human Behavior
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016


  • Depression
  • Social media


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