In the age of social media, everyone is sharing just about everything about their life. In some ways, social media has been a blessing, since you can reconnect with old friends, keep in touch with people who live far away, and make new friends. Unfortunately, for people with depression and other mental illnesses, it can make you feel. As a provider of functional medicine Los Angeles, we will discuss some things to understand about social media and its impact on depression.
Social Media and its Triggers
One of the ways that social media has made a negative impact on people with depression is that it can create triggers for people. The word “trigger” might seem a little cliché today, but it is very serious and very real. Someone with a mental illness might go through periods of feeling a little better, but one very small thing can trigger their illness and send them back into a bad episode. This is true of people with depression. So much is shared on social media that anything from a phrase to an event can be triggering.
Signs that Social Media is Hurting You
Not sure that your depression symptoms are affected or worsened by social media? All you need to do is pay a little attention to your own brain and body when you use social media. It can often be very subtle in the beginning, and just takes a little journaling to figure it out. Our functional medicine doctors recommend you start writing in your journal on a daily basis, beginning with how you’re doing before you ever log on to Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. Then write down how it changes when you begin using social media actively. You might notice things like:
1. Your mood shifts
2. You suddenly become very jealous
3. You find it hard to see what friends are doing
4. You feel easily upset or triggered by events
What to do About it
The obvious answer is to reduce your social media time, but that is often easier said than done. Sometimes, you need to use it to keep in touch with distant relatives, or you use it as a way to network for your job. In this case, just be careful when and how you use social media.
Unfollow or block anyone who upsets you to the point where they are becoming a huge trigger. According to our functional medicine Studio City doctors, don’t follow any news outlets if that is a trigger for you, and get into the habit of not using it at least when you’re going through a serious depressive episode.
If you or a loved one is struggling with depression and needs support, consider reaching out to professionals who specialize in mental health, like those in functional medicine Burbank. Our team at Functional Medicine Los Angeles can provide the guidance and care needed to navigate through these challenges.