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Heavy Use of Social Media Linked to Mental Illness, Multiple Studies Confirm

By , May 20th, 2018 | 4 Comments »

Heavy social media use linked to mental illness according to several studies
British teens between the ages of 14 and 24 believe social media increases anxiety and depression.

This comes from a survey by the Royal Society for Public Health — and it’s merely the latest study to say so. It’s by no means the first.

Much of this fear and anxiety may be due to FOMO, or fear of missing out. When young people are forced to be unplugged they sometimes experience great anxiety.

One experiment found that Facebook triggered the same part of the brain that gambling or substance abuse may trigger.

Yet another survey corroborated this: After taking a look at more than 5,200 Americans, researchers found a link between an increase in Facebook activity and a future decrease in mental health.

Social Media Linked to Mental Illness

Yet another corrobortaing survey, in 2015 took a look at 1,800 people. Of those, women reported being more stressed than men while using social media because of the ability to see what everyone else is worried about.

The survey went on to show people who use social media heavily are more likely to be anxious, have mood swings, become depressed, have trouble sleeping, and have a higher risk of addiction.

Most of this is because individuals using social media frequently find themselves comparing their lives to others. This can lead to low self-esteem and poor mental health.

The Numbers

Nearly 3 billion people use social media worldwide. Most of them spend at least two hours per day updating, posting, and liking — for many of them, it has become a compulsion.

Now compare this with another statistic: about one in five adults in the U.S. experience mental illness each year, according to the National Alliance of Mental Illness.

Serious mental illnesses cost the U.S. in $193.2 billion in lost earnings each year.


In general, more people have found themselves feeling bad or depressed when using Instagram, compared to other social media websites or apps.

Interestingly, using the telephone or video-calling apps like Facetime generally makes people feel happier.

Having genuine human interaction and conversation can benefit your mental health greatly.

Readers, what do you think: How much is too much social media? 

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