Neurocove Behavioral Health, LLC

 Specialists in psychological assessment, therapy, and counseling for 

anxiety, depression, and trauma throughout Florida. 

the dangers of social media

The Hidden Dangers of Social Media: How It Can Eat Away at Your Mental Health

The dangers of social media have become an increasingly important target for clinical research. If the current literature is correct, social media is quietly creating profound problems for younger populations’ mental health and is increasingly being blamed for increasing mental health problems in younger populations. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat may contribute to worsening mood (Twenge, Martin, & Campbell, 2018).

The hidden dangers of social media

the hidden dangers of social media
Photo by camilo jimenez on Unsplash

Over the past 25 years, research has observed increases in anxiety and depression by as much as 70% (Royal Society for Public Health, & Young Health Movement, 2017). Anxiety and depression can have negative effects on education, school dropout, social relationships, substance abuse, mental health, social isolation, and suicidal behaviors.

Symptoms of anxiety and depressed mood are positively
correlated with time on social media, and both passive and active use of social media (reading, scrolling, & reposting, contrasted by chatting, sharing, or writing, respectively)

correlate with greater symptoms of anxiety and depressed mood. In one sample, passive social media use was a significant factor in mood, even after examining and controlling for protective elements such as social support!

Social media has created an enormous amount of strain on mental health. Multiple studies have found that young people experience more negative experiences on social media. Research suggests that social media can be incredibly addicting and impact how users feel about themselves.

Although not all users of social media have mental health issues, there is a marked correlation between increased depression and increased usage of these sites. Studies have demonstrated that the use of social media is a risk factor for depression.

Social media and suicide

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that suicide is the 13th leading cause of death worldwide, and is the leading cause of death among those aged between 15 and 39. Social media platforms are commonly used for the expression of suicidal thoughts and feelings, particularly by young people.

As such, there is increasing evidence that the Internet and social media can influence suicide-related behavior. There are several specific ways that social media can increase the risk for prosuicide behavior. Cyberbullying and cyber harassment, for example, are serious and prevalent problems. Victims of cyberbullying are almost 2 times as likely to attempt suicide than those who were not.

How to handle social media

Social media use can facilitate negative reactions in certain people, and technology companies’ lack of awareness or concern of the severity of the problem and the negative effects on mental health makes this trend only more frustrating. The awareness of social media’s effects on mental health should be a concern to all individuals regardless of age.

While there are no set guidelines for how parents should handle social media use for their children, it is clear that many parents are struggling with how to handle technology usage and screen time with their children. One of the most important things to keep in mind is that your children will learn best when they are offered healthy environments that provide independence, responsibility, and challenge.

the hidden dangers of social media
Photo by Josh Rose on Unsplash

With respect to personal use of social media, research seems to suggest that active engagement is associated with fewer mental health problems. Writing to specific friends and sharing personal experiences may not contribute to anxiety and depression in the same way that reading or sharing others’ posts.

Conclusion

Although social media makes it easy to stay in touch with others, it also appears to be a growing threat to mental health. Active engagement with social media appears to be the best approach, as well as limiting social media use.

References:

Thorisdottir, I. E., Sigurvinsdottir, R., Asgeirsdottir, B. B., Allegrante, J. P., & Sigfusdottir, I. D. (2019). Active and passive social media use and symptoms of anxiety and depressed mood among Icelandic adolescents. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking22(8), 535-542.

Keles, B., McCrae, N., & Grealish, A. (2020). A systematic review: the influence of social media on depression, anxiety and psychological distress in adolescents. International Journal of Adolescence and Youth, 25(1), 79-93.

Royal Society for Public Health, & Young Health Movement. (2017). StatusOfMind social media and young people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Hinduja, S., & Patchin, J. W. (2010). Bullying, cyberbullying, and suicide. Archives of suicide research14(3), 206-221.

Twenge, J. M., Martin, G. N., & Campbell, W. K. (2018). Decreases in psychological well-being among American adolescents after 2012 and links to screen time during the rise of smartphone technology. Emotion18(6), 765.

Dr. Benson Munyan is a Clinical Psychologist licensed in both Florida and Arizona. He is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Central Florida's College of Medicine and the Director of Neurocove Behavioral Health, LLC. He specializes in the assessment and treatment of anxiety, depression, and trauma-related disorders. Dr. Munyan earned his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Central Florida. He currently holds clinical privileges at both Neurocove Behavioral Health and the Orlando Veteran’s Affairs Healthcare System. He has also previously published clinical research and articles in peer-reviewed journals including PLoS One and Clinical Case Studies.
Benson Munyan, Ph.D.
Nicholas James Psychologist Orlando Florida

Nicholas James, Ph.D.

LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

ABOUT ME

My name is Nicholas James, Ph.D. I have experience working with individuals facing anxiety, depression, stress, trauma, insomnia, and caregiver strain. I focus on matching evidence-based therapies to the needs of my clients to meet their personal goals of recovery and growth.

OUR FIRST SESSION

I believe that change occurs through personal reflection, cultivating strengths and resources, and incorporating growth into everyday life. It is my goal that each session is collaborative and integrates needs, beliefs, and your background into a person-centered treatment plan.

MY APPROACH

I try to bring a genuine, humanistic atmosphere to every session. My therapeutic approach is centered in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and incorporates additional evidence-based practices to address unique needs that arise during therapy.

INTERVENTIONS

Trauma Focused

Exposure Response Prevention

Acceptance & Commitment (ACT)

Behavior Modification 

Humanistic

Motivational Interviewing Mindfulness-Based (MBCT)

Cognitive Processing (CPT)

Cognitive Behavioral (CBT)

Benson Munyan Psychologist Orlando Florida

Benson Munyan, Ph.D.

LICENSED CLINICAL PSYCHOLOGIST

ABOUT ME

My name is Dr. Benson Munyan. I specialize in working with those experiencing symptoms of anxiety, depression, and trauma. If you are reading this, there’s a good chance you’re looking for something. Whatever the origin of your story, you are here. There is no time like the present to change our tomorrow.

OUR FIRST SESSION

From our very first session, skills are introduced, demonstrated, and assigned as practice assignments between meetings. I collaboratively set each session agenda with my clients, ensuring we have time for following up since the last session, troubleshooting any problems with skills or homework, and working on new problems or material.

MY APPROACH

Let’s be honest. Sometimes, life is hard. And sometimes, it downright sucks. There, I said it. I believe we should be able to use everyday language in therapy, and that participating in therapy as our most genuine selves empowers us to better understand the challenges we’re facing as well as potential solutions.

INTERVENTIONS

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Processing Therapy

Trauma-Focused Therapy

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy

Acceptance and Commitment Therapy

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