The Cambridge dictionary defines sadfishing as the practice of writing about one's unhappiness or emotional problems on social media, especially in a vague way, in order to attract attention and sympathetic responses.
But while people are quick to criticise celebrities for overdoing the sympathy calls, new research has found young people facing genuine distress are often accused of jumping on the bandwagon when they turn to the internet for support.
The new study, by Digital Awareness UK (DAUK) found that young people with genuine mental health issues who legitimately seek support online are facing unfair and distressing criticism that they are jumping onto the same publicity seeking bandwagon.
In some cases this rejection can go on to damage teenagers' already fragile self-esteem, with some reporting that they have been bullied as a consequence.
And in extreme examples some are left vulnerable to sexual 'grooming' online.
The study, commissioned by the Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference (HMC), is based on face-to-face interviews with more than 50,000 children aged 11 to 16.
"DAUK is concerned about the number of students who are bullied for sadfishing (through comments on social media, on messaging apps or face-to-face), thus exacerbating what could be a serious mental health problem. We have noticed that students are often left feeling disappointed by not getting the support they need online," the report says.
"At a time when young people are forming and shaping their identities, it's understandable why they would choose to use social media as a platform for gauging opinions from others. However, in doing so, they are of course opening themselves up to abusive comments. In addition, positive feedback can result in increased self-esteem while negative feedback can reduce it."
Findings from 6,595 youngsters aged 12 to 15 in the US found those who used social media more heavily were more likely to report issues such as depression, anxiety and loneliness, as well as aggression and anti-social behaviour, than teenagers who did not use social media.
But further research surrounding the topic of social media use and mental health in teenagers in the summer suggested it is the side effects of social media use, such as lack of sleep, that could present more of a problem.
The findings come from the first major study to analyse how heavy social media use could potentially damage mental health.
The study, published in the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health journal, indicates that while frequent use of social media does appear to be linked to having a negative impact on mental health, the effects are not direct.