Is facebook making you depressed?!

Facebook and Depression

The phenomenon of Social Media has taken off in recent years, with Facebook being the most popular social networking site. According to Facebook Inc’s latest statistics, 1.15 billion users access the site each month, with this figure steadily rising each year!

While Facebook is a great tool for staying connected with social and professional networks, it has also been associated with distressing psychological and emotional states such as jealousy, social tension, isolation, poor self-esteem and depression. Several studies have found that frequent Facebook use may contribute to or amplify depression.

What are the signs and symptoms of depression ?

 

Behaviours

  1. not going out anymore
  2. not getting things done at work/school
  3. withdrawing from close family and friends
  4. relying on alcohol and sedatives
  5. not doing usual enjoyable activities
  6. unable to concentrate
  7. sleeping or eating more or less than usual

 

Feelings

  1. overwhelmed
  2. guilty
  3. irritable
  4. frustrated
  5. lacking in confidence
  6. unhappy
  7. indecisive
  8. disappointed
  9. miserable
  10. sad

 

Thoughts

  1. ‘I’m a failure.’
  2. ‘It’s my fault.’
  3. ‘Nothing good ever happens to me.’
  4. ‘I’m worthless.’
  5. ‘Life’s not worth living.’
  6. ‘People would be better off without me.’

 

Physical

  1. tired all the time
  2. sick and run down
  3. headaches and muscle pains
  4. churning gut
  5. significant weight loss or gain

 

How can I tell if Facebook is making me unhappy?

  1. You feel jealous, resentful, lonely, frustrated or angry when using Facebook.
  2. You start comparing yourself to your friends (their activities, possessions, physical appearance, volume of ‘likes’ and feedback from their friends, etc) and feel  inadequate.
  3. You find yourself ruminating/dwelling on your perceived failure or inadequacy.

 

Tips for using Facebook wisely

  1. Limit the time you allow yourself on Facebook or even try Facebook-free days!
  2. Manage your notifications – minimise the amount of notifications you receive for activity on Facebook. This will reduce prompts to check Facebook.
  3. Remember that people usually put their ‘best selves’ online. It’s easy to start thinking that other people are happier than you, but this is just not the case.

 

* If you are experiencing any of the signs or symptoms of depression, visit your local GP or seek a referral to a Psychologist. For more information about depression, contact Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636 or log on to www.beyondblue.org.au.

Written by Veronica Midon, clinical psychologist treating adult depression and anxiety. CBT Professionals are a team of clinical psychologists on the Gold Coast with offices in Coomera and Nerang. Gold Coast CBT psychologists offer services to adults, children, and couples.

 

Disclaimer: Content on this website is provided for education and information purposes only and is not intended to replace advise from your doctor or registered health professional. Readers are urged to consult their registered practitioner for diagnosis and treatment for their medical concerns.

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