How to tell if someone is depressed from their photos

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

How depression affects your behaviour

All emotions affect our behaviour to a certain extent and depression is no exception. In my previous article How depression affects your choice of clothes i said that depression can affect many of your daily habits including the clothes that you choose to wear.

According to a study depression also affects the way we take photos and the filters we apply to them. This means that a photo taken by a depressed person is going to look different than a photo taken by a healthy person.

In this article i will tell you how depression can get reflected in the photos you post online.

How to tell if someone is depressed from their photos

  • 1) Darker pictures: People who are depressed are more likely to post darker pictures online. The colors a depressed person tend to prefer are blue, grey and black. When looking at the picture taken by a depressed person you might notice that it has darker shades. See also How depression changes your looks
  • 2) Black and white filters: These days photo filters have became so popular. A study found that depressed people were more likely to choose a 'black & white' or a grey filter for their photos. This is also aligned with the same finding that depressed people tend to post darker colored pictures. See also Why some people don't put their real photos as profile pictures
  • 3) Fewer people in the picture: Depressed people sometimes choose to socially isolate themselves from others. In such a case the person might avoid social interactions and see less people. This might result in pictures containing less faces. While depressed people are likely to post pictures that have faces still those faces are going to be fewer than if the person was healthy. See also How to spot a narcissist on social media.
  • 4) Change in posting behaviour: Depression can change a person's posting behaviour. Depending on the severity of the depression and the nature of the person posting might either become more or less frequent. Some depressed people post more often in order to gain some attention and a self esteem boost while some depressed people find no energy to post at all. Generally you need to look at the change in the posting behaviour in order to find out whether someone is suffering from depression or not. See What causes sudden depression
  • 5) No photo filters: When people feel good they are more likely to post colorful photos. This is why a healthy person might want to choose a filter that makes their photo brighter. Depressed people on the other hand might avoid choosing a filter all together. Note that you must look at the change in behaviour. If the person was used to posting pictures with filters then they stopped then it might mean that they are feeling depressed. See also 10 Body language signs of depression

Be careful with those signs

You can't tell whether a person is depressed or not by just looking at one of those signs since any of them can happen for other reasons as well. If you found all of the signs together then you can assume that there is a possibility that the person is depressed.

Combine this with other signs and you will be able to confirm whether a person is depressed or not.

The book The ultimate guide to getting over depression was released by 2knowmyself, the book provides a 100% guarantee for feeling better else you will be refunded.

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