Facebook may soon become one of the important study aids for psychiatrists in understanding a patient's psychological state, as the profile may show signs of mental illness, according to a recent study.
"The beauty of social media activity as a tool in psychological diagnosis is that it removes some of the problems associated with patients' self-reporting," said study researcher Elizabeth Martin, a psychology doctoral student at the University of Missouri. "For example, questionnaires often depend on a person's memory, which may or may not be accurate."
In their study of 200 college students, patients were asked to share their Facebook activity where they were evaluated on how easily and naturally they expressed themselves. Even the areas they wished to hide were actually revealing their emotional state.
The study showed that participants who portrayed higher levels of social anhedonia, a condition where people did not want to interact, had fewer Facebook buddies, shared fewer snaps and were less communicative on the site.
Researchers also found that, those who were guarded about their Facebook activity before presenting their profiles to researchers had a greater likelihood of harboring odd beliefs with increased levels of paranoia.
So, let's face it, your life is quite an open book with Facebook !