Teenagers and young adults are using secret codes in social media videos to show they are struggling with depression.
The line “I had pasta tonight” is not someone who is talking about what they had for dinner but is instead a cry for help.
Other phrases used include “I finished my shampoo and conditioner at the same time” and are often used by TikTok users.
One Reddit user believes the words have been taken from Hannah Dains’ poem ‘Don’t Kill Yourself Today’, which explains why a person struggling with depression should choose to stay alive.
One line reads “finish your shampoo and conditioner at the same time” and another says to “tell someone your best pasta recipe.”
Although some TikTok users actually talk about pasta or shampoo, many others post about these items for completely different reasons.
But the comments to these meaningful posts can be powerful.
One TikTok video captioned “Told my mom about my favorite pasta recipe and she made it for dinner tonight” received over three million views and 60,000 comments — all of which can be summed up by one user’s comment: “This comment section is my new therapy. Thank you.”
“You’re so loved,” one person replied.
“You haven’t come this far to only come this far,” another posted.
“I love you all so much it’s beyond words,” the poster commented. “Thank you so much.
Another shared a video of herself lying down in bed with the caption: “I’ve given out my favorite pasta recipe and my shampoo and conditioner are almost done.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US, suicide is Gen Z’s second-leading cause of death.
Figures show the suicide rate among people aged 10 to 24 increased 56% between 2007 and 2017.
The increase in youth suicide has also sped up recently, according to a report.
Between 2007 and 2013, the suicide rate for young people grew at an average of 3% per year; between 2013 to 2017, that number shot up to 7% per year.
A study by Guildford Press also found that there is a link between social media and poor mental and emotional health.
If you’re struggling and need to talk, the Samaritans operates a free helpline open 24/7 on 116 123. Alternatively, you can email [email protected] if you’d prefer to write down how you feel. You are not alone.