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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.

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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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Here’s how Cyberbullying Leads to Depression Among Youngsters

Online bullying more horrifying, leads to depression in youths

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Cyberbullying amplifyies symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people. Pixabay

As researchers have found that cyberbullying amplifyies symptoms of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder in young people, health experts here also stressed that in some cases it can be far more horrifying than physical bullying.

According to the experts, cyberbullying is when a child, teen or youngster becomes a target of actions by others — using computers, cellphones or other devices — that are intended to embarrass, humiliate, torment, threaten or harass.

It can start as early as age eight or nine, but the majority of cyberbullying cases take place in the teenage years, up to age 17.

The new study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, addressed both the prevalence and factors related to cyberbullying in adolescent inpatients.

Online bullying depression
From setting beauty standards and norms to trolling every act has a significant effect on the psyche of internet users, especially on youth and children, it leads to stress and depression. Pixabay

“Even against a backdrop of emotional challenges in the kids we studied, we noted cyberbullying had an adverse impact. It’s real and should be assessed,” said study co-author Philip D. Harvey, Professor at University of Miami in the US.

According to the researchers, children with a history of being abused were found to be more likely to be cyberbullied.

The study of 50 adolescent psychiatric inpatients aged 13 to 17 examined the prevalence of cyberbullying and related it to social media usage, current levels of symptoms and histories of adverse early life experience.

Conducted from September 2016 to April 2017, the research team asked participants to complete two childhood trauma questionnaires and a cyberbullying questionnaire.

Twenty per cent of participants reported that they had been cyberbullied within the last two months before their admission.

According to the researchers, half of the participants were bullied by text messages and half on Facebook.

Transmitted pictures or videos, Instagram, instant messages and chat rooms were other cyberbullying vehicles, the study said.

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Children with a history of being abused suffer from depression. Pixabay

Those who were bullied had significantly higher severity of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anger, and fantasy dissociation than those who were not bullied.

According to findings, participants who reported being cyberbullied also reported significantly higher levels of lifetime emotional abuse on the study’s Childhood Trauma Questionnaire than those who were not bullied.

The internet not only covers the huge part of our lives nowadays, rather it actually dominates today’s generations’ lives, according to the expert.

“From setting beauty standards and norms to trolling every act has a significant effect on the psyche of internet users, especially on youth and children, it leads to stress and depression as well,” Mrinmay Kumar Das, Senior Consultant, Department of Behavioural Sciences, Jaypee Hospital in Noida, told IANS.

Also Read- Full Vaccination of Children Reduces the Risk of Hospitalisation: Study

To reduce the risk of falling in this trap, Das suggested: “Keep an eye on the people you interact with online, keep your personal information or private details safe. Also keep in mind that your children who apparently act normal may also be dealing with cyber bullying.”

“Hence keep communicating with your children, rather than scolding them and forcefully limiting their internet use, support them to come out of this depressing phase, encourage them to indulge in other activities like games, music, etc,” Das added. (IANS)