Instagram posts may reveal signs of depression

Instagram posts may reveal signs of depression

Instagram posts may reveal signs of depression

They identified participants as "depressed" or "healthy" based on whether they had a diagnosis of depression in the past. One study found that certain Instagram photos can predict the markers of depression, as New York Magazine's Select All reports.

Researchers at the University of Vermont and Harvard University used computers to analyze more than 40,000 photos on the Instagram feeds of 166 volunteers looking for brightness, color, and shading. With depression on the rise among USA teens and young adults (also Instagram's core demographic), better methods for diagnosing mental health problems are more important than ever. They used machine-learning tools to find patterns in photos.

Volunteers with depression were more likely to post black and white photos or ones with bluer, grayer or darker filters while healthy volunteers posted photos with warmer, brighter tones.

Psychologists say photographs placed online contain several indicators of potential depression.

Also, depressed participants were more likely to post images with faces, but the average number of faces per photo was lower than non-depressed people. "More generally, these findings support the notion that major changes in individual psychology are transmitted in social media use, and can be identified via computational methods", the study concluded.

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