The window to the world for individuals with mental disorders: A qualitative study about social media

  • Gülhan Küçük Öztürk
    Corresponding author at: Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University Semra and Vefa Kucuk Faculty of Health Sciences, Nevşehir, Turkey.
    Department of Psychiatric Nursing, Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University Semra and Vefa Küçük Faculty of Health Sciences, Nevşehir, Turkey
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  • Kamuran Özdil
    Aged Care Program, Nevşehir Hacı Bektaş Veli University, Health Services Vocational School, Nevşehir, Turkey
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Published:March 11, 2022DOI:


      This study aimed to determine the views of individuals with mental disorders on the experience of social media. This was a qualitative study conducted using the content analysis method. Using purposive sampling, 12 individuals with mental disorders were selected and interviewed. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews and were analyzed using the content analysis method. Four main themes and 10 subthemes were identified. The themes included the window opening to the world (source of information, facilitating life), from invisibility to visibility (feeling good, liberation and socialization), negative experiences (feeling lost, envy, and privacy), and the rejection of society (escape and stigmatization). Individuals with mental disorders stated that social media had both positive as well as negative effects on their lives. The results of the study highlight the various aspects of social media use and its effects on individuals with mental disorders. These results can be used in planning and implementing mental health services for individuals with mental disorders.

      Accessible summary

      What is known about the subject?
      • In the current age, social media is a part of daily life.
      • Social media has many positive and negative effects on the lives of individuals with mental disorders.
      What does the paper add to existing knowledge?
      • This study provides information to mental health professionals about how individuals with mental disorders evaluate social media, what it means to them, and the effects of social media.
      • The study provides ideas regarding the experience of social media as a tool to offer mental health services.
      What are the implications for the practice?
      • The results of this study show that the positive aspects of social media can be used to maintain and improve the mental health of individuals with mental disorders.
      • Mental health professionals should tackle the negative effects caused by social media use, such as stigmatization, jealousy, and waste of time.


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