Lifestyles and Mental Wellness: Mental illnesses may lead to social media addiction

Lifestyles and Mental Wellness: Mental illnesses may lead to social media addiction

Created to bring the world together on one social platform, social media has surpassed the need for recreation and is now looked upon as an effective tool for marketing, advertising or expanding one’s professional reach. Probably social networking was introduced keeping only its positive aspects in mind, while the likely negative effects were ignored. This is evident from increasing number of teenagers and young adults being subjected to emotional harassment by cyberbullies.

Online social networking has changed the way people connect and communicate with each other. Scientific studies have indicated how long-term use of social networking sites (SNSs) may cause deterioration in mental health. Though causal relationship has not been pinpointed, prolonged communication through SNSs has often been linked to users feeling aggrieved with bouts of low self-esteem.

Although scientists are unsure about how continued use of SNSs can cause disruptions in the normal aspects of human behavior, it has been observed that engagement in incessant communication through Facebook can trigger egocentric personality disorders bordering antisocial behavior.

Some mentally ill people are predisposed to social media addiction

While a lot is being written about how social media usage affects the mental health adversely, a group of researchers revealed that some people suffering from certain mental illnesses are more prone to getting hooked on the use of social media.

The authors of the study titled “The relationship between addictive use of social media and video games and symptoms of psychiatric disorders: A large-scale cross-sectional study” stressed how some females afflicted with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), obsessive- compulsive disorder (OCD) or mood disorders are more likely to manifest symptoms of addiction to using social networking sites.

The study published online in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors in March 2016 highlighted that people afflicted with ADHD or OCD tend to self-medicate using the intrinsic features of social networking platforms. The researchers suggested that people aggrieved with OCD are at a greater likelihood of  using social media by a “constant urge to check their social networks for new information or updates — because of the fear of missing out.”

The observations in the study also indicated that the ones addicted to social media use suffer more from anxiety than depression. The scientists suggested that people afflicted with incessant and grave anxiousness resort to using social networking due to their struggle, while depressed people are more inclined to rid themselves of social networking sites or networking in general.

As studies pinpoint at the interdependent association between psychological illnesses and dependence on social networking sites, it is imperative that physicians take the same into consideration while recommending treatment to their psychologically distraught patients.

Sign up for recovery

The constant pressure to be in touch or stay connected coupled with the full-time availability made possible due to the inclusion of social media apps available on smartphones implies that today’s generation is always in a digital fix. This ultimately leads to addiction – a determining factor in the onset of psychiatric disorders.

Though therapeutic interventions are available for treatment of mental disorders arising due to social networking addiction, the first step to recovery is to know when to use social media. As excess of anything can be harmful to both physical and psychological health, it is essential to keep a tab on the extent and nature of social networking sites that keep our young ones busy and agitated.

If you or your loved one is suffering from any kind of mental disorders, consult the Sovereign Mental Health Services to know about our mental health treatment centers in the U.S. You may call us at our 24/7 helpline number 866-954-0529 or chat online for information regarding mental health centers in the U.S.

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