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Social media addiction is one of the many adverse effects of increased use of the latest technology smartphones and other related devices. Social media has helped people from across the world communicate beyond local or social boundaries. While it has opened a new world of possibilities by allowing sharing of user-generated content, like photos and videos, its overuse has been linked to many mental health problems.

Although social media addiction is not yet included in the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) as a mental illness, many recent studies have linked its excessive use to various behavioral health problems.

Social media addiction can affect adults and teens alike. According to past studies, the problem is more prevalent among teens with increasing use of social media being associated with growing prevalence of depressive symptoms, especially in teen girls.

Possible Symptoms of Social Media Addiction

Social media addiction is characterized by the following signs or indications:

  • Constant urge to access social media profiles
  • Feelings of anxiety or irritation in case of inability to go online
  • Thinking, planning, and executing social media use
  • Preferring social media to verbal and face-to-face communication
  • Checking social media profile repeatedly for updates or messages, even at the cost of relationships, sleep, and performance.

Social Media Addiction Linked to Depression

According to Statista, the United States had 208.91 million social media users in 2017, which amounts to about three quarters of the country’s population. Americans spent 21.4 percent of their total mobile minutes using social media. The increased use of social media is a matter of concern as like other forms of addictions, overuse of social media is also associated with many behavioral problems.

A study published in the journal Computers in Human Behavior revealed that young adults especially those using multiple social media platforms were more vulnerable to experiencing mental health problems like anxiety and depression. Researchers recorded comparatively lesser risk for their peers who were simply online or were using multiple platforms.

Social media users’ risk of suffering mental health problems is also governed by how they respond or feel about the presence of their social media companions. For example, they are at more risk of developing depression if they:

  • Feel envious of the social media posts shared by their peers
  • Have former partners as their social media friends
  • Are obsessed over their virtual identity
  • Posted more negative status updates over the social media

According to another research by the University of Pittsburg School of Medicine, young adults using social media are more likely to develop depression if they are more engaged in social media interactions. The participants visited different social media accounts 30 times per week and used social media for around 61 minutes per day. The study found that more than a quarter of these participants had “high” indicators of depression.

Promoting Sensible Use of Social Media

Experts also highlight some positive aspects of controlled use of social media platforms. Sensible use of social media can help improve users’ mental health by enriching their social participation. The risks and benefits of social media rely on how one acts and interacts online. For example, people using it to keep in touch with former friends, schoolmates, colleagues or schoolmates spread across the world can make them feel good. But, social media use can become a problem if one starts to constantly compare themselves to others or becomes desperate to improve their social media image.

Treatment for Social Media Addiction

Individuals addicted to social media may need therapeutic interventions. Unlike other addictions, treatment for this type of addiction should be aimed at control rather than total abstinence. Because, detaching someone completely from using internet-enabled devices such as smartphones is not feasible.

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) has been recognized as the most successful type of treatment for online addictions. It involves talk therapy designed to bring a change in the way people think and behave. ADEONA Healthcare, one of the leading healthcare facilities in the U.S., offers effective treatment intervention for teens, aged 12-17, for addiction and mental health problems.

Social Media Addiction Treatment at ADEONA Healthcare

Teens addicted to social media may have a co-occurring mental illness like depression or anxiety. They might take solace in the internet and use it to fight or manage their symptoms. But being on the internet all the time would aggravate their symptoms of depression, turning it into a vicious cycle. Other teens may turn to the internet because they lack emotional support in their daily lives.

Whatever the condition, our trained and skilled clinicians at ADEONA Healthcare assess all the underlying problems leading to social media addiction and plan an intervention strategy accordingly. They customize each and every treatment plan offered to ensure that all relevant problems are addressed simultaneously to ensure lasting recovery.

To know more about how ADEONA Healthcare can help your teen control their social media usage, call our 24/7 helpline number (888) 997-3966 and speak to a member of our admission team. You can also chat online to our representative or further assistance.

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