As or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or

As stated
in the constitution of the World Health Organization (WHO), health is “the
state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the
absence of disease or infirmity.” From this statement, mental health can be
considered as a substantial part in a person’s overall well-being. Having a
good mental health can help in being productive that can result to having a
part in nation-building. The stability of an individual’s mental health can be
at risk when that person experiences stress, discrimination and violence. In
the Philippines, one report says that one in every five Filipinos are suffering
from a mental illness. Depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and
schizophrenia are the most common in the country (Borja, 2017).

In an
infographic by ABS-CBN News, depression is considered as one of the most common
mental disorder in the world. According to the WHO, depression is defined as “a
common mental disorder, characterized by sadness, loss of interest or pleasure,
feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, feelings of
tiredness, and poor concentration.” In a ten-year duration, WHO has recorded an
18 percent rise in depression cases worldwide. Statistics according to the
Department of Health (DOH) in the Philippines shows that 3.29 million Filipinos
are suffering from depression.

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 As reported by Health Secretary Paulina Jean
Ubial, depression is one of the leading causes of death among 15-29-year-old
making it a big risk in the mental well-being (Vardeleon, 2017). Ubial also
accentuated the need for the people to know the symptoms of depression as it is
a condition that “can happen to anyone” (Crisostomo, 2017). Unlike other mental
health disorders like schizophrenia, symptoms for depression are unnoticeable
and people sometimes misunderstands it as just being sad (Francisco, 2017). The
worst case for a person with depression is committing suicide and the WHO has
recorded 2,558 cases of it in the Philippines in the year 2012 (Nicdao and
Soriano, 2016).

            Social
media is defined as “the collective of online communications channels dedicated
to community-based input, interaction, content-sharing and collaboration”
(Rouse, 2016).

            Now,
social media has become a vital part in spreading information as well as
providing entertainment and education to its users. Through it, dissemination
of information is faster and wider that even small groups can connect to other
parts of the world. Social media also has the same function like the
traditional media (television, newspapers, radio, etc.) providing the audience
with information about issues making people aware of it (Peralta, 2015). With
the use of social media, individuals or groups can easily voice out their views
or people and also the capacity to persuade and inform others through sharing
their posts.

Statement
of the problem

The study aims to answer the
question: “What are the effects of social media in the awareness of the youth
towards depression?”

Specifically, the following are the objectives of the study:

1. to know the sites used by the respondents;

2. to identify the approach of the posts related to depression;

3. to analyze the level of knowledge of the respondents towards
depression; and

4. to determine the perception and attitude of the respondents towards
depression.

Theoretical Framework

The
theory that will be used in the study is the Cultivation Theory. In 1969,
George Gerbner proposed the theory stating that heavy television viewers start
to perceive the actual reality in the real world the same as the
representations in the world of television (Littlejohn and Foss, 2009). As
contested by cultivation theorists, television has substantial, lasting effects
on the minds of the viewers (Chandler, 1995).

            The Cultivation Theory accentuates that the violence
portrayed in television shows makes the exposed viewer perceive that the
reality is dangerous and unsafe (Littlejohn, 2009). According to Shanahan (1998), cultivation theorists assumes
that the opinion and perspective of those who are heavily exposed to television
are similar to what is portrayed in the media (Moon, 2007)

            Cultivation theory is known for
dealing with the relationship of television violence and the viewers, but there
are other studies that focused on gender stereotyping, culture, and political
views, and as well as looking through other forms of mass media (Chandler,
1995).

The theory is related to the study because just like the
television, social media can also be a channel that can influence the
perspective and attitude of the users. As stated in the background, the social
media users have the ability to share posts that can persuade and inform the
people.

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