Recently, a new study has revealed that twitter posts can help gather important data regarding mental illness among people.
Researchers said that they were able to quickly and inexpensively collect new data on post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, bipolar disorder and seasonal affective disorder, by reviewing tweets from users who publicly mentioned their diagnosis and by looking for language cues linked to certain disorders.
Scholars mentioned that these improved techniques were also safe as the findings did not disclose the names of people who publicly tweeted about their disorders.
Glen Coppersmith, a Johns Hopkins senior research scientist, said that there are lot of quantifiable facts and figures of these physical illnesses, that turns out to be tough and time-consuming in traditional techniques of data collection, as there was a long-standing stigma that makes even talking about the mental health a taboo.
The computer algorithms used to discover mental health data from tweets look for words and language patterns associated with these ailments, including word cues linked to anxiety and insomnia, and phrases such as "I just don't want to get out of bed."