Child, Adolescent and Adult Psychiatry

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How the Internet Affects your Mental Health

The majority of us spend a significant amount of time browsing, scrolling, and chatting on the internet. But, can excessive internet and social media use harm our mental health? Yes, the amount of time we spend on the internet and on social media has a big impact on our mental health. While technology is useful for staying up to date and connected with our loved ones, it can be harmful to our mental health.

So, we’ll talk about how internal and social media can have a bad impact on your mental health.

Anxiety

The internet and social media are full of negative news and negative people. With the huge amounts of negativity in the media, it can cause unnecessary anxiety. 

Although it’s good to be aware of the news around us, sometimes it can cause certain individuals to have panic attacks and chronic anxiety around the news. We’re not saying that you shouldn’t stay up to date, but for individuals who suffer from severe anxiety, it may not be good for their mental state.

The internet is also full of exaggerated news or articles, which can cause unnecessary anxiety. You can also cause unnecessary anxiety by searching for health symptoms leading to the worst. When it comes to health-related issues, it’s best to consult with a professional instead of self-diagnosing. 

Body Dysmorphia 

Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), also known as body dysmorphia, is a mental health disorder in which a person obsesses over flaws in their appearance.

We can not control what other individuals post on the internet, especially on their social media pages. So, seeing individuals post photos of their “perfect” bodies can trigger obsessive thoughts about your own appearance. 

You might start thinking, “Why isn’t my body like that?” Seeing “perfect” bodies on your feed can be a constant reminder of what you perceive as flaws in your own body, causing body dysmorphia.

Sleep Deprivation

Constant use of social media and the internet can cause sleep deprivation in certain individuals. This may be because you’ve become too attached to your phone. The constant use of your phone and social media can cause sleep deprivation since the blue light emitted by your mobile device affects your melatonin levels. 

In some cases, certain individuals are compelled to constantly check their feeds, emails, and other social media pages which increases the likelihood of insomnia. 

Self-Esteem Issues

Just like with body dysmorphia, the internet can cause self-esteem issues in many different ways. Recent studies continue to show that using social media increases the risk of depression, poor self-esteem, loneliness, and anxiety.

Constant use of social media might lead to a significant decline in self-esteem. On the internet, there are many different types of people. Rich, attractive, fit, and so on. Seeing these people may trigger self-esteem issues, which can have a negative impact on your mental health. 

Your social media feed can exacerbate your negative feelings about yourself.

Internet Pressure

The internet can also cause pressure. Pressure to join in on trends, do challenges, and so on. This can affect your mental health if you’re not able to do it. 

Internet pressure can also happen in the event of any negative events like COVID-19. 

Final Thoughts

Constant and inappropriate use of the internet and social media can lead to a variety of mental health problems. So, when using the internet, limit your time to a few hours every day.

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