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Increased Usage of Digital Media Can Lead to Depression in Young Adults

Moreover, research shows that young people are not sleeping as much as they did in previous generations

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Multiple apps are displayed on an iPhone in New York. VOA

Increased use of digital media may be partly responsible for the growth in the percentage of young adults experiencing certain types of mental health disorders in the US over the past decade, suggests new research.

“More US adolescents and young adults in the late 2010s, versus the mid-2000s, experienced serious psychological distress, major depression or suicidal thoughts, and more attempted suicide,” said lead study author Jean Twenge, Professor of Psychology at San Diego State University in the US.

“These trends are weak or non-existent among adults 26 years and over, suggesting a generational shift in mood disorders instead of an overall increase across all ages,” Twenge added.

For the study, the researchers analysed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, a nationally representative survey that has tracked drug and alcohol use, mental health and other health-related issues in individuals aged 12 and over in the US since 1971.

They looked at survey responses from more than 200,000 adolescents aged 12 to 17 from 2005 to 2017, and almost 400,000 adults aged 18 and over from 2008 to 2017.

Social Media, digital, Encryption, drink, whatsapp, depression
Study Links Social Media Addicts, Substance Abusers. (VOA)

The rate of individuals reporting symptoms consistent with major depression in the last 12 months increased 52 per cent in adolescents from 2005 to 2017 – from 8.7 per cent to 13.2 per cent — and 63 per cent in young adults aged 18 to 25 from 2009 to 2017 – from 8.1 per cent to 13.2 per cent, showed the findings published in the Journal of Abnormal Psychology.

“Cultural trends in the last 10 years may have had a larger effect on mood disorders and suicide-related outcomes among younger generations compared with older generations,” said Twenge.

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She believes this trend may be partially due to increased use of electronic communication and digital media, which may have changed modes of social interaction enough to affect mood disorders.

Moreover, research shows that young people are not sleeping as much as they did in previous generations, she noted. (IANS)

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Cyber Bullying Leads to Depression in Teenagers, Says Study

The study was scheduled to be presented at "SLEEP 2019" conference in Texas from June 8-12

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Depression is a major issue affecting millions of people, especially the teenagers. Pixabay

Parents, please take note. Teenagers who experience cyber bullying are more likely to suffer from poor sleep and depression, warns a study.

In one of the few studies to explore the connection between cyber victimisation and sleep quality, the research team from University at Buffalo examined the relationship between online bullying and depression among over 800 adolescents.

“Cyber victimisation on the Internet and social media is a unique form of peer victimisation and an emerging mental health concern among teenagers who are digital natives,” said Misol Kwon, a PhD student from University at Buffalo.

Nearly 15 percent of US high school students report being bullied electronically, said Kwon.

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Depression is among the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and is being closely monitored by health authorities amid rising suicides nationwide. Pixabay

At severe levels, depression may lead to disrupted school performance, harmed relationships or even suicide.

According to the US Office of Adolescent Health, nearly one third of teenagers have experienced symptoms of depression, which, in addition to changes in sleep pattern, include persistent irritability, anger and social withdrawal.

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“Understanding these associations supports the need to provide sleep hygiene education and risk prevention and interventions to mistreated kids who show signs and symptoms of depression,” Kwon added.

The study was scheduled to be presented at “SLEEP 2019” conference in Texas from June 8-12. (IANS)