A personal project motivated by the
desire of dealing with my own
anxiety and helping others with the
same condition.

watch the case
study below

Hi, my name is Daniel Portuga, I’m 40 years old and work in advertising. I live alone in New York and have been diagnosed with GAD - Generalized Anxiety Disorder. On April 25 2020, during the coronavirus quarantine, I found myself locked in my apartment, lonely, and deeply distressed by the situation, resulting in one of the worst anxiety attacks I’ve ever had.

I was so overwhelmed I couldn’t ask for help, but at the same time I wanted to show my friends and family that something was off, so I posted 227 white posts, with no text, only the word ‘OUT’ in the last one. The White Posts was supposed to be a cry for help and it became not only a social experiment, but also a tool for people with anxiety to capture attention during a crisis and get some sort of support.

The White Post spamming provoked different reactions. Ironically, they represent the exact same attitude people have towards anxiety disorder patients. Let’s see what those reactions were.

Experiment day total followers: 1,551
39

Negative
Messages

Friends and family of people who suffer from anxiety often don’t take them seriously. This time it was not different, many did not like the experiment and, just like in real life, were not able to grasp that this could be a cry for help.

“You are so annoying man!”
“You are fucking my timeline, mother fucker!”
“Are u crazy? Stop, with this shit.”
“Why? Get out here.”
“Don’t piss me off with yours white posts.”
23

Technical
issue
messages

Some tend to get confused by the signs from people with mental disorders, making it difficult for them to get that things might not be ok. As for the project, many thought the account had been hacked or harmed by a virus.

“I think my connection is bad.”
“Your instagram has been hacked!”
“Your posts are not in your timeline anymore.”
“Your Instagram has a problem.”
“Dude, your posts are not loading.”
55

Profiles
unfollowed

Friends and family usually brush aside people who suffer from anxiety or similar conditions. Nobody wants to get involved in any way and be with the ‘broken person’, after all, this is not your business, right? We observed this same behavior in the experiment: 55 connections simply unfollowed me.

“@jamesbrown80 unfollowed you”
“@mary.garcia unfollowed you”
“@paulgreen unfollowed you”
“@john_lee_ny unfollowed you”
“@carolmiller unfollowed you”
12

Support
Messages

Included
1 call
1 email

Happily, some cared and were empathetic enough to note that no one would normally post such a huge amount of white posts for no reason. I received 12 messages checking on me.

“Can I help you? I love you brother.”
“Text me. So I know you are ok.”
“What’s going on? I’m here.”
“I care about you my firend.”
“Don’t put pressure on your shoulders.”

In a matter of seconds, an anxiety crisis can be triggered. That is why the support needs to come just as fast. The White Post mechanics is very simple: you just need to make a white post in any social media. This is a tool for silently expressing your emotional state and being heard by your social platforms.

Prior to becoming a tool, The White Post needs to be well known. Having this in mind, we created a campaign both for the audience with anxiety disorder and for their families and friends. The goal is to raise awareness and then create engagement.

For people
struggling
with anxiety

For friends
and family

Those suffering with anxiety disorder can hardly convey their feelings. For this reason, we have created illustrations to represent what a person may feel in the middle of a crisis. Check the illustrations designed especially for the project.

The White Post project is a partnership with TBD and its objective is to provide a tool to help with anxiety and getting the necessary support to overcome an episode. Important: this project has no background study or scientific value; it also does not replace a doctor’s appointment and the appropriate medical guidance. In case you have any symptoms, seek help from a mental health professional.

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