Do you remember the last time you spent an entire day away from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Snapchat? If your answer is a profound no, well, do not worry because many are rocking the same boat. Today, it is hard to spend a day without the use of social media, thanks to the vast opportunities it offers regarding social networking and staying in touch with family and friends.
No technology is bad. A lot depends on “how” and “for what purpose” it is being used.
However, the question is- how much time spent on social media is enough? Furthermore, can something like social media which seems harmless be linked to mental illness?
Unfortunately, the answer is a stern yes. Various studies have shown that young adults with a strong social media presence are more likely to display obsessive compulsive symptoms, personality problems/disorder, conduct problems, impulse dyscontrol problems, emotional problems, disturbed sleep-wake cycle, associated body aches and pains; while the extreme use of social media has been found to be strongly linked to mental illness. Excessive time spent on social networking and with electronic gadgets comes at quite a heavy cost w.r.t effects on mental and bodily health, neglect of other important life priorities and problems in relationships. It also absorbs a lot of time that could have been spent on meaningful constructive activities and pursuing meaningful and creative hobbies.
Due to myths, prejudices and stigmatization, many a times the underlying psychiatric problems and conditions can go unnoticed/neglected, which may become troublesome at a later stage. However, psychiatric problems and ailments must be effectively dealt with in a timely manner. Such services in hospitals with Psychiatric facility, ensure confidentiality.
The Social Media-Mental Illness Connection
Several studies have proved that social networking can have negative effects on your wellbeing. Researchers evaluated the social networking usage over a fortnight and discovered that individuals who frequent these websites have more negative thoughts. It was observed that they experienced negativity in their everyday activities and displayed incurring higher levels of displeasure with their life overall.
Let’s find out what role social media plays in mental illness.
Social Media and Depression
Social media can accentuate the feelings of depression. According to a study, if an individual uses a higher number of social platforms, the more anxious and depressed they feel. Individuals who use two or less social media platforms are less vulnerable to anxiety and depression as compared to those engaged in 7 to 11 different social media platforms.
According to research conducted by the Royal Society for Public Health (RSPH). Social networking platforms that focus heavily on images, can lead to feelings of low self-esteem as individuals compare themselves to others.
Social Media and Loneliness
Though social media offers multiple ways to keep in touch with people, it gives rise to loneliness. According to a study, 35% of the people aged 45 and older were found out to be lonely. Moreover, 13% of these lonely individuals felt they were unable to form deep connections with people over the Internet. In fact, they might even be spending less time on activities such as pursuing a hobby, getting involved in organisations or volunteering. Moreover, researchers are calling this behaviour a loneliness epidemic — which not only shortens life span but can also lead to problems like obesity.
Social Media and Narcissism
Social media provides a platform for people with narcissistic traits and exhibitionism. As per a study, narcissistic people with low self-esteem are more active on social networking sites. This is also aligned with a different study that found that being addicted to social media platforms often projected low self-esteem and narcissistic behaviour. Apparently, these people use social media not only to “feed their ego” but also to eliminate feelings of low confidence with online validation.
Now that you know how excessive use of social media platforms can take a toll on your mental health, it is the time that you find a balance to relish what social media has to offer without having it take over your mental state and life. Over time there have been major advancements in the field of Biological Psychiatry in India, with successful treatment options for varied problems and disorders of the mind. For instance, as one of the best neuro hospital in India offering excellent Psychiatric services, Max Healthcare specialises in the treatment of mental health problems and de-addiction services, where they appropriately examine, advise and treat you.
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