Tuesday November 20, 2018

Anupam Kher Encourages People To Overcome Depression

There is still a taboo associated with depression

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Anupam Kher
History will not misjudge Manmohan Singh: Anupam. Flickr
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Actor Anupam Kher says depression is still considered to be a taboo, and he hopes to bring a change by doing his bit.

The actor has released a video on YouTube encouraging people to overcome depression and not shy away from coming out in the open about the issue.

“There is still a taboo associated with depression. People shy away from coming out in the open and discussing it. This even affects not just the victim but their near and dear one’s too,” Anupam said in a statement to IANS.

“A day before my father passed away, he gave me the message of living life to the fullest and that’s what I hope to encourage people to do with this video,” he added.

The actor will soon be honoured with the Outstanding Achievement in Indian Cinema Award at the 19th edition of the International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards to be held in Bangkok later this month.

depression
depression, Pixabay

Anupam, who has starred in over 500 films including international films, started his career in 1984 with “Saaransh”.

Over his three-decade long journey in Hindi filmdom, he has also appeared in many acclaimed international films such as the Golden Globe nominated “Bend It Like Beckham”, Ang Lee’s Golden Lion-winning “Lust”, and David O. Russell’s Oscar-winning “Silver Linings Playbook”.

Also read: Depression, Anxiety May Lead to Teeth Loss

He has also been honoured with the Padma Shri in 2004 and the Padma Bhushan in 2016 for his contribution in the field of cinema and arts. (IANS)

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Loneliness And Depression Can Be Linked to Social Media: Study

It is unclear if the depressing effects of social media will cross generational lines to older or younger people

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Social Media,
This photo taken March 22, 2018, shows apps for WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and other social networks on a smartphone. VOA

University of Pennsylvania researchers say that for the first time they have linked social media use to increases in depression and loneliness.

The idea that social media is anything but social when it comes to mental health has been talked about for years, but not many studies have managed to actually link the two.

To do that, Penn researchers, led by psychologist Melissa Hunt, designed a study that focused on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

The results were published in the November issue of the Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology.

Social media. Offensive Speech
An iPhone with Twitter, Facebook and other apps, May 21, 2013. U.S. internet companies are taking a harder look at their policies that have promoted free expression around the world.. VOA

How study worked

The study was conducted with 143 participants, who before they began, completed a mood survey and sent along photos of their battery screens, showing how often they were using their phones to access social media.

“We set out to do a much more comprehensive, rigorous study that was also more ecologically valid,” Hunt said. That term, ecologically valid, means that the research attempts to mimic real life.

The study divided the participants into two groups: The first group was allowed to maintain their normal social media habits. The other, the control group, was restricted to 10 minutes per day on each of the three platforms: Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.

The restrictions were put in place for three weeks and then the participants returned and were tested for outcomes such as fear of missing out (FOMO), anxiety, depression and loneliness.

Social Media
Chiara Valenzano, right, photographs her food as she has lunch with her friend Giulia Terranova at the ‘This is not a Sushi bar’ restaurant, in Milan, Italy, Oct. 16, 2018. At the restaurant, payment can be made according to the number of Instagram followers one has. VOA

Results of study

The results showed a very clear link between social media use and increased levels of depression and loneliness.

“Using less social media than you normally would leads to significant decreases in both depression and loneliness,” Hunt said. “These effects are particularly pronounced for folks who were more depressed when they came into the study.”

She calls her findings the “grand irony” of social media.

What is it about social media that’s just so depressing?

Hunt says that it’s two major things. The first is that social media invites what Hunt calls “downward social comparison.” When you’re online, it can sometimes seem that “everyone else is cooler and having more fun and included in more things and you’re left out,” she said. And that’s just generally demoralizing.

Social Media
The study was conducted with 143 participants, who before they began, completed a mood survey Pixabay

The second factor is a bit more nuanced.

“Time is a zero-sum game,” Hunt told VOA. “Every minute you spend online is a minute you are not doing your work or not meeting a friend for dinner or having a deep conversation with your roommate.”

And these real life activities are the ones that can bolster self-esteem and self worth, Hunt said.

What to learn

So what’s the takeaway?

social media
A girl uses her mobile phone in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 5, 2017. A researcher in Britain says her findings suggest young girls who are more active on social media have lower levels of well-being in their teens. VOA

People are on their devices, and that’s not going to change, she said. But as in life, a bit of moderation goes a long way.

“In general, I would say, put your phone down and be with the people in your life,” she added.

Also Read: Childhood Violence May Spur Puberty, Depression: Study

Hunt pointed out a few caveats to the study. First, it was done exclusively with 18- to 22-year-olds, and it is unclear if the depressing effects of social media will cross generational lines to older or younger people, Hunt said. But she expects her results should generalize at least for people through the age of 30.

Hunt says she is now beginning a study to gauge the emotional impact of dating apps. (VOA)