According to a new study by the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience (IoPPN) at King’s College London, people on a social media suicide support forum are most likely to post on the website between 2 a.m. and 5 a.m. Monday morning.
The study, published in BMC Psychiatry, suggests that there are marked differences in behavior throughout the week and throughout the day, and researchers say that targeted support is made more readily available to those at risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors can be.
Dr. Rina Dutta, the primary investigator on the King’s IoPPN study, said, “Monday has often been identified as the day of the week when there is the greatest risk of suicide. From the data we examined, we can see a clear trend across weekly cycles that closely follows the suicide timing patterns reported in some previous studies.
“When developed in the right way, we can potentially target otherwise inaccessible populations to deliver suicide prevention news and interventions where and when they are most needed.”
The researchers looked at the times when users of the Reddit forum posted “SuicideWatch” online. The forum is a moderated online community for people who are either at risk of suicide or know someone who is at risk of suicide.
The data collected between December 1, 2008 and August 31, 2015 amounted to 90,518 digits. Over the course of a given week, forum posts were highest on Mondays between 2:00 and 5:00 a.m. The posts trended down from Tuesday to Saturday. This was in stark contrast to data from the AskReddit control group, a separate forum on the same website where users can ask general questions of one another, where most of the content was posted in the later hours of the day.
The timing of the posts suggests that active users have difficulty sleeping and may be a modifiable risk factor for suicidal thoughts and behavior. Additionally, the early morning climax in SuicideWatch posts precedes the time of day when suicide attempts and deaths are most common.
Dr. Dutta said, “Extensive use of social media has been linked to sleep disorders, anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. Reducing the use of social media during night hours could be an effective way to provide targeted psychological interventions in some people. “
The researchers believe that using this data can be used to target populations at risk with higher levels of support.
“Given that we have a clear indication of when people at risk are posting to this forum, it is difficult, but certainly not implausible, to allow more moderation on Reddit and other suicide support forums in times of increasing suicide-related posts . ”
You don’t have to suffer in silence when your sanity is struggling. Here are some groups you can contact if you need help:
Samaritans: Telephone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or confidential via email to [email protected]
Childline: 0800 1111. Calls are free and will not appear on your bill
PAPYRUS: A voluntary organization that supports suicidal teenagers and young adults. Telephone 0800 068 4141
Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. Not a hotline, but provides useful resources and links to other information website
Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, in a bad mood, or who commit suicide. click Here visit
Bullying in the UK: A website for bullying children and adults. click Here
Campaign against miserable life (RUHIG): For young men who feel unhappy. Has a website Here and a hotline: 0800 58 58 58