Here’s How Browsing Reddit Can Actually Benefit Your Mental Health

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Ah, Reddit. The only place where you can call out strangers for being assholes and look at weird nature stuff in one place.

One might assume that Reddit can be harmful for your mental health — it’s a social platform, after all. It can be addictive, and things over there can get pretty depressing.

But Reddit is actually a useful source of mental health support for many men, Men’s Health reports.

Among its many subreddits about gaming and dating and Photoshop, Reddit also contains a plethora of supportive forums that help users through life challenges. There’s /r/anxiety and /r/depression, for example. There are also subreddits for specific life situations, like /r/NICUparents.

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Javier Hernandez of Fort Worth, Texas tells Men’s Health that he started using Reddit as a resource after his most recent breakup. He became active on /r/depression, /r/anxiety, /r/breakups, and /r/selfimprovement.

“Just reading the responses made me feel accepted,” Javier said. “You don’t realize how many people are in the same situation as you.”

Javier says Reddit “has really just been the first step.” He plans to speak with a therapist next.

For many men, Reddit is particularly appealing because it allows them to be anonymous. It’s a lot easier to practice being completely honest and vulnerable when nobody knows who you are.

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Reddit is not, of course, a substitute for treatment with a professional. It is, however, a useful starting point for people to realize that they’re not alone!

“One of the challenges and opportunities in the world is that people who are facing difficulties in life often feel isolated and alone, and the reality is they are anything but,” says Reddit’s co-founder and CEO, Steve Huffman.

Having a place where you can “realize you’re not alone, [that] your challenges are not unique, they’re actually common, and people have made it through them—that can be a very powerful feeling.”