Naslund, Bondre, Torous, and AschBrenner inform us that social media is now a prominent fixture in our lives. Many such individuals are now facing mental illness. Social media is used by many people use social media to share their life experiences. They seek information about their mental health and treatment options, and join like-minded online groups with similar mental challenges.
Studies have shown that individuals with mental challenges increasingly use mobile devices (Firth
et al. 2015;
Glick et al. 2016; Torous et al.
b). Evidence shows high
rates of social media use among patients with mental disorders, including studies looking at engagement across diverse settings and
In 2015, nearly fifty per cent of psychiatric patients were social media users, with greater use among younger individuals (Trefflich et al. 2015). 47% of inpatients and outpatients with schizophrenia reported using social media, of which 79% said at least once-a-week usage on social media websites (Miller et al. 2015).
We know that there is a link between depression and social media, and increased social media use can intensify the symptoms of depression, including loneliness and a decrease in social activities.
A 2018 study found that reducing 30 minutes a day on social media will improve your overall mental wellness. Feelings of depression and loneliness declined. You can now register for a retreat where social media is banned.
Social media also increases the risk of cyberbullying. Previously, you could enter your home and be free of bullying. Now it follows you everywhere, making you feel threatened.
Should you stop using social media?
According to the Black Dog Institute, no evidence supports the idea that a social media detox benefits our mental health. Although, you might find it helpful to go offline for a while.
How can you use social media to support your mental well-being?
Social media was built to connect family and friends and certainly has its place within society. Just keep in mind that it is surreal and not always what is posted is what it is.
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