AI & Mental Health How Can This Technology Detect Mental Illnesses.

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Social networks are increasingly present in people’s lives and are always included in their routines. Whether it’s to keep up with what’s going on or to see extroverted content, almost everyone accesses social networks.

Accessing the networks has become so natural that we even consider it a necessary action in our day. However, we do not know the impact and influence that this frequent access has on our mental health. 

What is the concept of mental health?

Mental health is a topic that is becoming more and more prominent in the issues and also more valued. A person’s mental health is related to the state in which they are well enough to cope with everyday situations. 

Mental health is also related to how an individual reacts to life situations, stress, work, and productivity, and how they harmonize their desires, abilities, ambitions, ideas, and emotions.

In short, to have mental health is to be well with oneself and with others. 

Is there an influence of social media on mental health?

Mental health is determined by several factors, be they socio-economic, occupational, biological, or environmental. Therefore, we can conclude that yes, there is an influence of social networks on a person’s mental health. 

What are the main impacts observed in the relationship between social networks and mental health?

There are many impacts observed in the relationship between social networks and mental health, caused mainly by dependence on social networks. 

Among these impacts, we have anxiety, depression, the feeling of isolation and loss of events, pressure, exhaustion, and obsession with the body. 

Benefits and harms of AI

Due to the taboo built over mental disorders, many people are slow to seek psychiatric help. By developing artificial intelligence capable of facilitating the detection of these problems, the diagnosis would be found early and would facilitate treatment and prevention.

However, the same scientific advance could be used in a harmful way. The indeterminate self-diagnosis and the use of the tool by companies to select employees with less probability of developing disorders. 

One of the great obstacles to research is the reconciliation between the patient’s humanity and the software. Unlike other diseases, such as cancer, psychological problems have no exact diagnosis. With this type of research, one has to try to teach a machine to “read” human behavior, building up a large language barrier and many challenges for the study.

Making AI able to detect mental illnesses

In a preliminary study published on the Arxiv platform, researchers from Dartmouth College (USA) describe the creation of artificial intelligence capable of detecting signs of mental disorders in Reddit posts.

Reddit has almost half a billion active users, spread across numerous forums, and one advantage for those involved in the study is the possibility of collecting data from posts and comments present on the platform since 2011. 

In practice, the study focused on identifying depression, anxiety, or bipolar disorder. To do this, artificial intelligence was taught to identify emotions expressed in users’ posts to assign to categories such as “joy,” “anger,” “sadness,” “fear,” or “no emotion,” and the transition from one feeling to another. 

It turns out that emotional disorders have their patterns of emotional transitions, and the scientists showed that the model accurately predicts which users may or may not have one of these disorders. In the paper, the authors mention that the approach avoids relying entirely on text content – associating specific words with disorders – because this can lead to some confusion.

The researchers plan to present their findings at the upcoming International Conference on Web Intelligence and Intelligent Agent Technology, which takes place in November this year. 


Artificial intelligence (AI) is an academic field of study that simulates human intelligence through the use of machines, especially, software systems, enabling machines to learn from experience, adjust to new inputs, and perform human-like tasks. 

Most examples of AI today, such as computers that play chess and autonomous cars, rely heavily on deep learning and natural language processing, where computers can be trained to perform specific tasks by processing large amounts of data and recognizing patterns in that data.

We can conclude that social media and mental health go hand in hand and it is important to pay attention to the time spent and the way one uses social media.

Even though social networks enable benefits such as better connections and relationships and easy access to content, they also negatively impact users’ mental health when not used correctly.

In the upcoming decades, the trend of AI is going to gain more momentum, and our lives will evolve with it, we must adapt and learn this technology going forward from now, and incorporate it into how we monitor our health.

Mental health, social media, and artificial intelligence as we see here, can have a significant impact on our well-being in the coming future. So, we must understand more about this technology, along with its potential harms and dangers. With ANAI resources, you can get regular updates on what is happening in the AI world. 

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