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HOW SOCIAL MEDIA AFFECTS MENTAL HEALTH

Mental Health

Mental health is just as important as your physical health, it plays a huge part in your overall general well-being. Research conducted by the public health agency of Canada states Mental illness can come in many forms which can cause changes in thinking, behavior or mood. The different subsets include, mood disorder, personality disorder, schizophrenia, anxiety disorder, eating disorder, gambling addiction and or substance dependence. If you suffer from any of these or others that were not mentioned always remember that there is help available, you are not alone in this fight

  In today’s modern world, there isn’t a whole lot of long term research to correlate the use of social media and mental health that is good or bad, but there are multiple studies that have found that there is a strong link between heavy social media use and certain disorders such as depression loneliness, anxiety or self-harm.

  Social media platforms are designed to attract your attention, keep you online for as long as possible, and have you repeatedly checking your phone, computer, or tablet for updates. It’s how these giant social media companies generate revenue. But similar to a gambling compulsion or an addiction to inhaling nicotine, drinking alcohol, or drug abuse, social media use can create psychological cravings. When you receive a like, a share, or a favorable reaction to a post, it can trigger the release of the feel good chemical dopamine in the brain, the same “reward” chemical that follows winning in blackjack, taking a bite of candy, or smoking a cigarette, for example. The more you’re rewarded, the more time you want to spend on social media, even if it becomes detrimental to your mental health and other aspects of your life.

  There are many ways you can try and cut down the amount of time you spend on social media, like turning your phone off before you go to bed, limiting how frequently you are checking your social media accounts, or turning off your notifications.

  After following these beginner steps you can slowly tune out spending time online and start spending more time offline. By interacting with strangers at the store, joining clubs or gyms, and meeting up with friends in real life. Your body and your mind will thank you.

Sources: https://www.helpguide.org/articles/mental-health/social-media-and-mental-health.htm

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/mental-health/

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