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How Does Mental Health Affect You

5 min read

How Does Mental Health Affect You – The impact social media can have on mental health and expert tips on how to find a healthy balance

Century, it has given us easy access to friends, family and loved ones – so we can stay connected online. As social creatures, we want to connect with others, and social media allows us to do that, anytime and anywhere.

How Does Mental Health Affect You

As social media has increased its influence in our lives, more attention has been drawn to its relationship with our mental health. If social media is used excessively, it can lead to mental health problems, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders and addiction.

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Sometimes people use social media to abuse and harass others online. Harmful or offensive comments are common in some areas of social media, making it a cruel place for those who receive the message.

Although this can happen to anyone, it is especially a problem for children and young people. Hurt comments, rumors and lies can have a huge impact on a child’s mental health. It can be even more dangerous if the child is also bullied at school, as digital spaces give the bully an opportunity to continue bullying outside of school hours.

Whether it’s on social media or not, when we see friends or family having fun, we get the impression that everyone else is enjoying a more eventful life than we are. In many ways, this is a natural human reaction.

Social media can amplify these feelings. If we see pictures of other people outside and while we are sitting at home, this can make us feel like we are missing out and worry that our social life is not as good as others. Over time, these feelings can escalate into real mental health problems like anxiety and depression.

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Social media has been criticized for how easily people can change images using filters and other tools. These processed images often promote an unrealistic body image, which can make us feel insecure about the way we look. This can lead to conditions such as eating disorders and body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), especially among teenagers.

It’s not just the behavior of others in the media that can make us feel insecure. The ‘likes’ and ‘shares’ system used by many social platforms means that we can always compare ourselves to other people. If we find that the things we have written get fewer people than friends, it can make us feel unpopular or often inadequate. It can also mean that our sense of self-esteem and self-esteem depends on the amount of engagement we receive on social media, as opposed to more important things like how we are as people.

“Social media manipulates our brains in many ways. We constantly compare ourselves to our peers to see if we ‘fit in’ with ‘them’. Young people often have a mix of peers and celebrities on their social media, with little brain capacity to tell the difference. So instead of comparing our lives to our classmates and neighbors, we compare it to Victoria’s Secret models and Justin Bieber. This makes many young people feel “less than”.

Social media can also make us feel lonely and isolated. Evidence shows that physical, face-to-face interaction with other people acts as a catalyst for mental health, while a 2015 study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society found that reducing face-to-face contact want to double the risk of others. . feeling stressed.

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If we start to limit our face-to-face interactions with people, and only interact with them through social media, this can put us at greater risk of:

Appropriate body image and image editing tools used in social media mean that this platform can contribute to people with eating disorders. A recent study from 2019 said that the more young people use social media, the more likely they are to have an eating disorder.

There are also trends like ‘fitspiration’ on social media, where healthy food and exercise become unhealthy. Research from the International Journal of Eating Disorders found that women who post “fitspiration” photos on Instagram are more likely to eat and exercise in ways that can be harmful to their physical and mental health.

Opening the phone releases dopamine in our brain – a neurotransmitter known as the “happy chemical”. Over time, we can develop a connection between using our phones and having a satisfying, enjoyable experience. While social media can be a welcome distraction at first, the dopamine hit can mean you want to log in again and again, which can turn into an addiction.

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In the United States, it is now estimated that approximately 5-10% of Americans may meet the criteria for being at risk of social media addiction.

Social media can have a negative effect on all of us, but when the damage is done to children and young people, it is only natural to be concerned.

Social media can seem like the world’s center of youth. They probably don’t have the maturity or life experiences that an older person would have to “reduce” them from the negativity they may encounter online. This means that the influence of social media on their mental health can be greater than an adult with a strong mind, or with other things to focus on.

The influence of social media on young people has gone so far, that Facebook (which also owns Instagram) has recently been criticized for keeping its research on this subject. Research suggests that these social media channels have a negative impact on young people’s body images (especially young girls), and that young people blame these channels for the increase in levels of stress and anxiety.

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Cyberbullying is also seen more strongly than younger generations. The Office for National Statistics says that around 1 in 5 children aged 10-15 have experienced cyberbullying, but a 2018 Pew Research study showed this could be higher to 59%.

Calls for social media to do more to reduce the negative influence they have on young people are growing stronger, as are suggestions for government involvement. In the First Survey, we found that 67% of parents want a law on the use of smartphones by children aged 10-17. 44% go so far as to say they would support an outright ban on smartphones for under-16s.

For parents, it’s wrong to worry about their children’s online safety, but adults aren’t immune to the effects of overuse of social media either.

Research from Priory has found that social media is partly responsible for creating symptoms of anxiety and stress in parents – fueled by similar feelings of ‘FOMO’ and ‘less than ‘ that affects our children.

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“Women who criticize themselves, or who think that others will judge them, because they are not the perfect mother they want to be, are at greater risk of postpartum depression. As social media presents positive images of parenting as the norm, it’s easy for new parents to feel guilty or inadequate if their experience doesn’t match this.”

Social media can also cause conflict or problems in relationships. It can cause feelings of jealousy or envy, especially if one member of the relationship is secretive about their smartphone use. In response, a third (34%) of adults with a partner say they have checked their partner’s phone at some point.

These areas of conflict can lead to ongoing relationship problems. A 2017 study stated that people who engage in more “unfaithful behavior on social media” are less satisfied in their relationship.

There are signs that you can look out for that may indicate that your use of social media is having a negative impact on your mental health. These include:

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How to change your social media use for mental health Be more aware of how much you use social media

Making yourself aware of how much social media is consuming your life is the first step to starting to cut back. Try this exercise, as recommended by an addiction specialist.

“Write down the effects social media can have on your sleep and health, the time you spend with family, not focusing on work or studies, or accessing inappropriate websites.

Draw three concentric circles, with an inner, middle and outer circle. The inner circle will contain the “risky” behaviors you want to stop doing – like taking pictures for social media, thinking about hashtags, surfing, hours of play a game or hang out on a website or app. things that can lead to dangerous behavior, or things that motivate them. This may include checking phones for music or alarms, receiving calls, notifications.

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The outer ring will be healthy choices that will improve your health. Often these are things you didn’t have time for.”

Doing the above will increase your awareness of how much technology is negatively impacting your life – and how you can replace your “addiction” with things that can improve your happiness and quality of life. the beauty of the mind.

In addition to knowing more about how much you use social media, you can make it known

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