The Link Between Social Media And Depression

In today’s culture, teens turn to social media for approval. The number of likes one gets may be the foundation for which they determine their self-worth. It’s sad, but it’s true. As the internet has become more popular, research has shown a steady increase in the number of adolescents’ diagnosed depression. So, are the two related?

The Psychological Approach

In order to map out the correlation between depression and social media, we must first look at how the brain works. Social media apps use addictive cues to reward users for engaging in the app. Social media sites are business minded. They are doing whatever they can to keep people on their apps for longer periods of time so that they can continuously pour out advertisements. Dopamine is the part of the brain responsible for feelings of pleasure and reward. Dopamine is released when gamblers gamble and alcoholics drink. The same effect happens when notifications come through our profiles. This is proof that social media impacts our brain.

The Negative Side-Effects

Social media opens the door for many types of dangerous behaviors such as comparison, cyberbullying, and approval-seeking. Social media users tend to post only the highlights of their lives; the big, happy, and lavish moments in their life. When other users see these highlights they immediately compare these representations to the worst parts of themselves. This can quickly turn into feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem, and a sense of unhappiness with one’s own life. Negative interactions with others via social media has the same effect. Cyberbullying, or degrading comments from others on social platforms, can decrease one’s sense of self-worth.

Tying the Two Together

The relation between the two can become quite complex. Teens who are already struggling with depression could start to engage in more social media use because they’ve lost desire to socialize with others face-to-face. This shouldn’t be viewed as a cause-and-effect situation because it is difficult to determine whether or not the depression was present prior to the impact of social media platforms. But the two concepts can easily be traced back to each other.

Elevations Residential Treatment Center

Elevations RTC mirrors a home environment and provides students with the skills they need to improve coping skills. Our program provides therapeutic programming that give students exposure to healthy physical, emotional, and mental outlets. The goal is to teach them skills that they can carry with them post-treatment. We can help your family today!

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