Social media use linked to developing depression, study finds

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Depression is more than just feeling down or having a bad day. When a sad mood lasts for a long time and interferes with normal, everyday functioning, you may be depressed.

In a study from the University of Arkansas and elsewhere, scientists found that young adults who use more social media are much more likely to develop depression within six months, regardless of personality type.

Previous research has linked the development of depression with numerous factors.

In the study, the team used data from more than 1,000 U.S. adults between the ages of 18 to 30.

Among the study’s findings was that people with high agreeableness were 49% less likely to become depressed than people with low agreeableness.

Additionally, those with high neuroticism were twice as likely to develop depression than those with low neuroticism when using more than 300 minutes of social media per day.

More importantly, for each personality trait, social media use was strongly associated with the development of depression.

The researchers suggest that problematic social comparison can enhance negative feelings of oneself and others, which could explain how risk of depression increases with increased social media use.

Engaging primarily in negative content can also enhance these feelings. And lastly, engaging in more social media reduces opportunities for in-person interactions and activities outside of the home.

Depression has been noted as the leading cause of disability and mortality worldwide. This makes these findings even more pronounced for creating health interventions and prevention efforts.

The team says findings from this study are important during a time of technology expansion and integration.

Connecting to people virtually may increase the risk of miscommunication or misperception that leads to relationship difficulties and the potential risk of developing mental health problems.

If you care about mental health, please read studies about the key to depression recovery, and Omega-3 fatty acids could protect memory in healthy older people.

For more information about health, please see recent studies about medications for depression, and results showing too much sugar in your diet could make you to have these mental problems.

The study was conducted by Renae Merrill et al and published in the Journal of Affective Disorders Reports.

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