Is There A Link Between Social Media, Perceived Social Support, and Depression?

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computer screen on Facebook

Social media is more pervasive than ever – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and more all serve as tools to connect with others – to share moments of our lives, see what others are doing in their lives, and keep in touch with loved ones who may be at a distance from us. No matter how you utilize social media, it certainly plays a major factor in perceived social support. As human beings, we’re social creatures, and we rely on support to make us feel loved, wanted, and needed in the world. Dr. Drew Ramsey, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University stated on U.S. News,  At its worst, depression is a disease of social isolation. People generally tend to be social creatures. We feel best when we are connected to others and to our community.”

Since social media is a such a major part of our communication, it’s no wonder that many of us rely on social media to provide us with the social support that we need; even further, it makes sense that if we don’t feel we’re getting adequate support through social media, we’re bound to experience depression and/or anxiety.

A 2016 study conducted by researchers from Australia sought to explore just how connected social media is with perceived social support and depression; researchers analyzed many studies that had been done between 2005 and 2016 to see if any major themes arose. Results from the analysis of these studies indicated that positive interactions, social support and social connectedness on social networking sites were consistently related to lower levels of depression and anxiety, whereas negative interaction and social comparison resulted in higher levels of depression and anxiety. Ultimately, it depends on how you use social media and what you’re getting from it that’s contributing to your mental health.

Depression is common, and it can be treated. If you haven’t already, speak with a professional from a reputable treatment center to learn more about programs that could assist you on your journey to recovery. It’s never too late to seek the help you need.

Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. If you are ready to seek treatment to develop the tools you need to overcome life’s obstacles and be on the road towards happiness, health, and well-being, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation. It’s never too late, and there are people here ready to help you.

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