Tweet Your Turmoil, and Get Instant Tweetment

Got a migraine that won't quit?  Your five-year-old won't stop bashing his sister in the head with a truck? Your 20th high school reunion is coming up and you're 40 pounds heavier?

Tweets can temper your problems.  According to a new study, sharing your pain with other sufferers can help alleviate some of the discomfort and stress.

"As technology and language evolve, so does the way we share our suffering," quotes principal investigator Alexandre DaSilva, assistant professor and director of the Headache and Orofacial Pain Effort at University of Michigan School of Dentistry. "It's the first known study to show the instant and broad impact of migraine attacks on modern patients' lives by decoding manually each one of their individual attack-related tweets."

Say what?  Simply put, put your agony out there and you are sure to find fellow sufferers.

I remember the old bulletin boards that were the precursor of Twitter and Facebook.  Women trying to get pregnant bared their souls every day and provided tips to others (and they didn't have to limit it to 140 characters!).  Men whose wives earned more than they did could go online and share their guilt and anger.

It was a veritable free-for-all.  And now you can do it on Twitter.

There's something to be said for knowing you're not alone when you're dealing with an issue that seems bigger than you.  Just knowing there are voices out there who know exactly what you're going through, while not solving the problem, can at least ease your hurt and frustration.

While the study followed only migraine sufferers, researchers found there was real relief in the "instant expression of actual pain."  

Now, Happen magazine advises you not to tweet your marital or relationship problems or other things of a truly personal nature.  (Happen is part of  It even puts the dissolution of Demi Moore's and Ashton Kutcher's marriage down to living their life too publicly (maybe age had a little something to do with it? Just saying.).

Happen also advises not to over-analyze, listen to the Twitterati, or replace one-on-one time with digital pecking.  

All good old-fashioned advice.  But as someone who once did depend on online friends to get me through a rough patch, I can testify that it works.  The downside is, as with anything, you can become too addicted, and put aside other parts of your life to race to the keyboard to see what they're saying about that weight gain and dealing with it. Remember: these are not really your friends, they're a support system, of sorts.  

When it gets too real, maybe it's time to get over it.  


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