December 4, 2017
While social media offers benefits to our lives, such as staying connected with friends and loved ones, it can also negatively affect our mental health in many ways. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to tell when it might be time to stop and consult an expert, as the various social media platforms have become so ingrained in our everyday lives. Social media use has become prolific throughout the world, and those of us living in the New Orleans area are no exception.
Psychotherapy is a great way to reduce the negative effects of social media in our lives. For people who are based in New Orleans who are worried about social media’s deleterious ramifications, I offer psychotherapy services that are specifically catered to anyone who is worried about their relationship with, or downright addiction to, social media.
But how exactly do you know whether you need psychotherapy in order to solve issues caused by social media? Here are some negative effects of social media that might indicate the need for professional attention:
1. You feel socially isolated in real life.
According to a recent psychological study, the excessive use of social media, Facebook in particular, is linked to less life and social satisfaction and happiness. This may cause social isolation and unhappiness, especially in teenagers and young adults.
2. You compare yourself to others in an unhealthy way.
Comparing yourself to others can be a way to enhance self-growth. But when this is done in an unhealthy and undermining way, it can cause serious issues to your self-image and cause severe anxiety and body image problems, which, in more extreme cases, can result in social anxiety and even eating disorders, as noted in this study published in the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.
3. You are only sociable on social media.
The fact that you have many friends on social media does not mean you have many friends in real life. As argued by a recent psychological study, people with many friends on their social media platforms can often be the opposite of sociable. Loneliness is very dangerous for mental health, and using social media contacts as an excuse not to admit it as a problem can be very dangerous.
4. You think you may be addicted to social media.
Yes, social media addiction is real. And it can be compared to any other addiction; and it should, of course, be treated in the same way. It fits all of the addiction criteria, and it requires the same amount of medical and psychological attention as any other addiction would. The fact that people who are addicted to social media also experience withdrawals is further proof of this.
5. You feel sad and anxious.
All of the previously mentioned factors can cause sadness and anxiety in individuals. In more serious cases, these can manifest themselves in the form of serious clinical depression, which should be treated immediately. Psychotherapy is an effective way to do this, as it gets to the root of the issue and analyses it with its links to social media-related problems.
If you can identify with any of the above symptoms and are ready to take the next step, I am more than happy to work with you to find a solution.