Support for antidepressant side effects

Kate uses ROCK in mixed-methods projects which examine the social support networks of patients taking antidepressants.

February 22, 2023

Kate studies the ways in which individuals support each other in online conversations about antidepressant side effects on the social media site Reddit. Antidepressant use is often accompanied by side effects which can meaningfully impact patient quality of life. Both antidepressant use and common side effects such as sexual dysfunction and weight gain are stigmatized. This can pose a barrier to patient communication with healthcare providers and to researchers attempting to understand patient experiences of these side effects. The semi-anonymity of the social media site Reddit promotes disinhibition and self-disclosure among users. Data collected from Reddit may therefore provide a unique window into patient experiences of antidepressant side effects. Following qualitative coding with iROCK, Kate and her team used the {rock} R package to perform a mixed-methods analysis of social support in discussions of antidepressant side effects on Reddit. Analyses explored the types of side effects discussed in Reddit posts and comments (link to ICQE 2020 paper), the influence of antidepressant class on social support (link to ICQE 2021 paper), and common responses to different types of social support (link to ICQE 2022 paper).