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  • Matt McTeague

Social Media Causing Anxiety and Depression

Updated: May 4, 2022

Studies show an estimated 21.0 million adults in the United States had at least one major depressive episode in their lifetime. Of those 21 million, the majority of depressive episodes occur in young adults. More studies show that the majority of those diagnosed with clinical depression spend a lot of time on social media platforms and it is believed that people who spend limited time on social media are generally happier.

The effects of social media on people's mental health have been a topic of discussion for a long time. Here are some ways through which social media causes depression and anxiety:

The principle of risk for rewards

The social media space is competitive, with people trying to get the highest likes and engagements. It’s easy to get addicted and hooked on the effects of social media. The competitive nature of social media platforms makes them a stimulant for depression.

Users are hooked on the effects of the visibility and sense of belonging they get from social media such that anxiety creeps in when there is a negative atmosphere. Many users are vulnerable to the pressure and eventually fall into depression.

However, the sad part is that users keep going back even after being devastated, and this is due to the hope that it’ll get better.

The vulnerability of this generation

Studies have shown that teenagers and young adults exposed to social media at an early age are more prone to depression than others. Social media provides a large platform for people to air their views and opinions, including negative comments.

Many women are said to run into depression because of social media. This is because women tend to express negative emotions through hurtful comments and social exclusion. Because of the massive platform social media provides, the effects are usually greater than they would be in a physical setting.

The fear of missing out (FOMO)

The fear of missing out is one of the ways through which social media leads many young adults and teens into depression. People tend to feel left out when they come across several social media posts about certain events that they’re not a part of.

The fear of being left out of the fun leads to anxiety in many people and sometimes depression.

Help is here

There are many benefits of social media if used properly. We are advised to limit how much time is spent on social media and ensure that we spend time on the media being productive, even though we can have fun.

These are only a few ways to limit the negative impacts of social media on our mental health. Furthermore, it would also be best to seek professional help if you already suffer anxiety and depression.

Talking to someone is the first step toward dealing with it. Reach out to me at 614-767-9401 to get started on the journey to recovery.


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