Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the benefits of and barriers to disclosing one’s depressive feelings to others. In particular, this study contrasts the barriers to face-to-face communication of depressive feelings with the benefits of using Mobile Instant Messaging (MIM). Methods: A total of 300 South Koreans participated in an online survey about their perceptions of disclosing depressive feelings. Paired t-tests, one-way ANOVA, and linear regression were used to examine the effect of demographic characteristics on the tendency to disclose depressive feelings. A semantic network analysis was conducted with open-ended responses to explore the proposed barriers and benefits. Results: Barriers to expressing depressive feelings in face-to-face communication were observed, while benefits of using MIM were revealed. More importantly, while the perception of social norms was a major barrier to disclosing depressive feelings in face-to-face communication, it was a benefit of disclosing depressive feelings via MIM.
- Mental health
- Text messaging