en PT

A personal project motivated by my
personal journey dealing with my
own anxiety and being able to help
others with the same condition.

watch the case
study below

My name is Daniel Portuga. I am 40 years old and work in advertising as a Creative Director at Razorfish, a digital agency of Publicis Group. I have been living alone in New York City for the past four years and have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). 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 unable to ask for help because I felt so overwhelmed, but I still needed to show my family and friends that something was off. I posted 227 white posts, without text, writing only the word, “OUT,” on the very last post. I intended for the blank posts to be a cry for help, and they became The Blank Post – a social experiment and tool for people with anxiety to draw attention and receive support during a crisis.

The Blank Post drop provoked different reactions across the spectrum, and they represent the exact same attitudes 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 was no different – many did not like the experiment and, just like in real life, were unable to see the heart of the issue and recognize it might 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 people tend to get confused by the signs of mental disorders in others, making it difficult to understand that things may not be okay for those around us. After seeing this project, many thought the account had been hacked or attacked 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

Being brushed aside while suffering from anxiety and similar conditions is commonplace for those with mental disorders. Friends and family often don’t want to get involved in any way and be with or engage with a “broken person.” Minding your own business is one form of this neglect and separating entirely via unfollowing the account occurred 55 times in this project.

“@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

Being brushed aside while suffering from anxiety and similar conditions is commonplace for those with mental disorders. Friends and family often don’t want to get involved in any way and be with or engage with a “broken person.” Minding your own business is one form of this neglect and separating entirely via unfollowing the account occurred 55 times in this project.

“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.”

An anxiety crisis can be triggered in a matter of seconds and send the victim reeling into an internal catastrophe. That is why the support needs to come just as fast. The idea behind The Blank Post is simple: make just one white post on any social media to call for help. This is a tool for silently expressing your emotional state and being heard on social media.

Prior to becoming a tool, The Blank 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, I have created illustrations to represent what a person may feel in the middle of a crisis. Check the illustrations designed especially for the project.

Important: The Blank Post project is a personal experiment to provide a tool to help with anxiety and getting the support via social media to overcome an episode. The Blank Post project has no background study or scientific value; it also does not replace a doctor’s appointment and the appropriate medical immediately guidance. In case you have any symptoms, seek help from a mental health professional immediately.

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