Online Depression: The Link between Social Media and Depression

social media and depression

Online Depression: The Link between Social Media and Depression

social media and depression

FoMO. Far from a government organization, FoMO refers to “Fear of Missing Out”, a phenomenon becoming all the more prevalent with the rise of social media. Not too long ago, social media was simply a way to keep in touch; now, social media is a lifestyle. Access to social media is ubiquitous: computers, phones, even televisions. And with that comes the constant fear that any moment that you’re not on social media, other people are – and you may be missing out. This is only one of the factors that can link social media and depression.

Social media and depression go hand in hand – even if a fully-blown internet addiction isn’t present, social media can trigger a mental dependency. Like with any other addiction, at first, feelings of happiness only occur when on social media.

Then, as time progresses, the “high” wears off and social media becomes a necessity. When not actively on social media, all thoughts turn to connecting to the internet. And when on, what was previously “happiness” becomes “satisfaction”. All these factors contribute to social media and depression mirroring each other. The more your child is dependent on social media, the more likely they are to develop a mental disorder.

Breaking the Cycle

As a parent, unfortunately simply limiting your child’s internet usage can cause more harm than good. Quitting cold turkey does not work for everybody. Although it may seem like internet usage poses less of a threat than alcohol or substances, in reality, addiction in any form is dangerous. Forbidding your child from accessing social media won’t immediately cure symptoms of their depression. In fact, it is important to slowly curb your child’s time on social media, rather than implement any drastic changes.

Often, social media and depression are involved in a chicken-or-the-egg situation. A child might turn to social media to alleviate feelings of depression, only to find that the relief social media offers is fleeting at best. By finding the underlying causes of a child’s dependency on social media, a parent might be able to discover a deeper problem (such as mental illness or bullying). Working together on finding healthy coping mechanism can help a child avoid the internet as a cure. Encouraging your child to lead a healthy lifestyle with exercise, regular sleep, and nutritious diet can also aid your child in regaining their life.

ViewPoint Center Can Help

If your teen is struggling with depression or some other mental health struggle, consider ViewPoint Center as an option for your teen to get the treatment they need. ViewPoint Center is a teen assessment center for young people ages 12-17. ViewPoint offers a comprehensive diagnostic assessment followed by treatment.

For more information about ViewPoint Center, please call 801-825-5222 today!


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