Social media use worsens depression

(ORDO NEWS) — A study of Facebook* users with depression found that habitual use of the social network reduces self-esteem and makes the illness more severe.

Since social networks have become part of our daily lives, scientists have been actively exploring their impact on the state of society and the mental health of individuals.

Many studies point to the serious harm that too much social media addiction can bring, including the development of depression and related diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Unfortunately, people who are already depressed often become addicted to social media and spend hours each day scrolling and reading “friends” feeds.

This further lowers their self-esteem and exacerbates the painful condition. These conclusions were made by psychologists led by Sivakumar Thurairajasingam from Monash University in Malaysia.

Scientists conducted a longitudinal study of 250 Malaysian Facebook* users diagnosed with depression. Participants completed two online surveys separated by a period of six months.

The questionnaires made it possible to assess the degree of emotional dependence on the social network, the involvement of such activity in the daily life of a person, the time spent on Facebook *, and the like.

In addition, participants were tested for the severity of the course of depression, the degree of self-criticism (feelings of shame due to the inability to maintain a positive image) and dependence on the opinions of others.

The work showed that people with a strong addiction to social networks have higher levels of self-criticism and dependence on other people’s opinions, and it is these factors, and not “pure” time spent on Facebook*, that aggravate the development of depression.

Scientists attribute this to the fact that the use of social networks stimulates people to actively respond to updates in the “friends” feed in order to get likes and acceptance from them.

This increases dependence on others and undermines self-esteem, which ultimately complicates the mental state and makes you sink deeper into depression.

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