Can Social Media Really Cause Depression?

Social Media leads to depression
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It is common for individuals to feel sad, low, or even sometimes lose interest in the activities which used to be pleasurable earlier. However, when such feelings persist for a longer duration then it is advised that one should get it checked out as that can be a very big sign of depression. Depression is a mood disorder which significantly reduces the ability of an individual to carry out the daily life tasks. This mood disorder can have many negative consequences for both the patient and other family members and friends which are surrounding that patient. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are almost 350 million people who suffer from depression across the globe. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), these numbers are also increasing significantly. Because of this, many experts have started to look into the exact causes of depression

An Introduction to Depression
D
epression is a mood disorder which is characterized by an individual constantly feeling sad, low, or losing interest in all activities for an extended period of time. This is a serious psychological disorder which can have many negative consequences not just for the individual who is suffering from depression but also for other individuals present around him or her. There are some interesting facts related to depression which one must know about. And some of those facts are:

  • According to the official statistics, women suffer from depression more commonly than men
  • The most prominent symptom of depression is that the individual loses all interest in activities which he or she used to find pleasurable before the psychological disorder
  • The exact cause of depression is not that easy to find out. However, there are many experts who hold the view that depression can be caused due to a combination of a number of things like genetic predisposition, environmental factors, biological changes, or psychological factors

There are also many different types of depression. And according to the experts, depression can be differentiated into four different types. Those different types of depression are:

Bipolar and Unipolar Depression
If an individual experiences both depressive and maniac episodes which are clearly separated from the period of normal mood then that type of depression is known as bipolar depression. On the other hand, if the predominant feature which is observed by an individual is depressive mood then that is known as unipolar depression. It is important for readers to note that bipolar depression was earlier known as maniac depression. It is also not that easy to distinguish between both these types of depression. And that is because of the fact that in the majority of the cases, an individual experiences the depressive episodes for 40% of the time.

Major Depressive Disorder with Psychotic Features
This is the type of depression in which an individual suffers from depression which is further accompanied by psychosis. Psychosis can be defined as a psychological disorder in which an individual suffers from delusions and hallucinations. Delusion is defined as any sort of false belief or a sense of detachment which an individual might feel and hallucination is defined as individual sensing things around him or her which do not exist.

Postpartum Depression
This type of depression is also known as baby blues or as postnatal depression. This type of depression is experienced by women right after they give birth to their child or children. This type of depression is also quite severe and it is important for individuals around a woman who has recently given birth to be acutely aware of this condition and keep an eye out for all possible signs or symptoms which can be identified by the individual.

Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Patterns
This is the last type of depressive disorder and it was earlier known as a seasonal affective disorder or SAD. In this particular type of depression, an individual feels depressed during the winters when daylight is significantly reduced. However, throughout the rest of the year, the individual feels happy and does not observe any signs or symptoms of depression. It has also been found that individuals, who live in countries which exceptionally long winters, suffer from this type of depression more commonly. However, this type of depression can be treated easily with the help of light therapy.

These are all the different types of depressive disorders.

Social Media & Depression

Researchers have not been able to identify the exact cause of depression even after conducting a lot of studies. However, there are many experts who hold the view that is because of the fact that there are many causes of depression. In the majority of the cases, an individual suffers from depression due to a number of causes. And since the number of social media users has increased exponentially, this has also lead the researchers to try to find out if social media can be one of the potential causes of why an individual might be suffering from depression. And according to a number of studies, the answer to that question is yes. A strong link has been identified between social media & depression. There are a number of ways through which social media can cause depression in an individual. And some of those ways are:

  1. The Connection Divide

It is quite evident that the current generation does not spend enough time connecting to the real people who might be present physically. Because of this, an individual often ends up feeling lonely when he or she might be forced to look at the real world scenarios. This has also lead people to underestimate the deep psychological benefits of having friends in the real world and forming a strong bond with such friends.

  1. The Perceived Isolation

According to a study, a growing number of individuals from the age group of 19 years to 32 years are spending more time on social media applications. There are many scenarios in which an individual ends up feeling validated on the internet. However, when those validations are not replicated in the real world then that leads the individual to feel acutely isolated.

  1. The Link between Social Media and Self-Esteem

There are many edited images on the internet which glorify or modify the way in which an individual looks. This leads many viewers to criticize the way in which they look in real life. This particular cause does not just lead to depression but also leads to the development of many eating disorders.

  1. A Decrease in Healthy Activities

When an individual is spending more time on electronic devices than that, roughly translated, means that the individual is not getting enough exercise or dose of healthy activities. A strong link has also been identified between depression and the reduction in healthy activities.

  1. Sleep Deprivation

The light on the screens is harmful. And these rays can result in an individual feeling sleep deprived. This, in the long run, can also cause depression.

The Conclusion:

Depression is a mood disorder in which an individual feels extremely sad, lonely, and loses all interest in doing activities which he or she loved performing earlier. There are also many different types of depression including bipolar depression, unipolar depression, postpartum depression, and many other types. There are no exact causes of depression. However, it has been found out that social media applications can cause depression amongst individuals from all across the globe.

The References

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/kc/depression-causes-symptoms-treatments-8933

https://www.vandrevalafoundation.com/

https://www.psychiatry.org/patients-families/depression/what-is-depression

https://www.webmd.com/depression/default.htm

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/symptoms-causes/syc-20356007

https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/depression

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/clinical-depression/

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/324372.php