A brand new study found that depression glasses were popular among people who have experienced major depressive episodes.
But there was a significant gap in how people perceived depression glasses as differentiating between the real thing and an online hoax, the researchers said.
The study was published online in the Journal of Affective Disorders.
About 30% of people with major depressive disorder had at least one prescription for a depression-specific prescription glasses, the study found.
But only 4% of those who had depression-related prescription glasses believed that those glasses would differentiate between the true and online versions of the product.
“Depression glasses are not a true alternative to medication,” study co-author Dr. Jana Balsera, a professor of psychiatry at Emory University, said in a press release.
A fake depression-solving glasses app, called MyGlass, was also featured in the study, with users uploading photos of themselves posing with prescription glasses.
But the fake app was actually made to trick people into thinking they were seeing real glasses.
The app allowed users to upload a picture of themselves with prescription lenses, but instead of having glasses, users saw a fake prescription that had the same prescription printed on it.
Depression-related glasses are more common in the United States than in other countries.
They are also becoming more popular among millennials, according to the study.
When people saw a picture online of themselves holding prescription glasses they believed to be real, their perception of the fake product changed from being true to being fake, the research found.
This can be a very confusing and frustrating experience, said study author Dr. Stephanie Bensley-Rosen, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University.
“We wanted to determine whether depression glasses are a useful marketing tool or a distraction for people who may have significant depression,” Bensay-Roen said in the press release .
“Our findings show that depression lenses can be an effective marketing tool for people with depression.
We also found that this product may be a distraction.”