Springfield mental health advocates explain the impacts of social media on the brain, especially among young girls

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) – The Wall Street Journal has revealed that Facebook researchers have repeatedly found Instagram to be toxic to teenage girls.

The newspaper reported on Tuesday that researchers at Facebook, which bought Instagram in 2012, have been conducting studies for three years on how the app affects its millions of young users.

Research has found that Instagram can harm mental health and body image, especially among teenage girls.

Provisionally licensed professional advisor Andrew Dilisio says that when an image gets a “like” on social media, your brain receives increased amounts of dopamine. This dopamine gives your brain a positive response. However, it also reinforces this behavior.

“What’s not helpful is that most of these photos are not based on reality because of the photo editors, because of the models and who knows which celebrities are posting photos that are not necessarily theirs. real life, ”says Dilisio. “You have these young teens who want the same sense of well-being and yet they are competing with people who always set the bar higher.”

Dilisio says this leads to a lot of comparisons between people using the app, which can lead to mental health issues and body dysmorphia.

One student, Marissa Okic, admits she didn’t feel safe using social media for these reasons.

“It would escalate into a really big depressive episode, and then I constantly compare myself to everyone I see, even on social media and in person,” Okic explains. “With some accounts, I tend to stop following and block and not watch them. “

Burrell’s Assistant Director of School Services Cristin Martinez says you start to develop your identity during these teenage years. For this reason, young people trust their peers to determine how much they are appreciated.

“Children who bully on social media or just in general are one and a half times more likely to think about suicide and the one who is bullied is twice as likely as their peers to think about suicide,” says Martinez.

Martinez says teens spend more than nine hours a day on their phones and on social media. However, according to Martinez, studies show the recommendation is only two hours a day.

Martinez says parents should set healthy limits and limit that screen time.

“Dinner is going to be a great time to put all of our appliances away and spend some time with the family,” Martinez said. “At night, let’s take a basket that we put all the phones in and charge them overnight so we’re not tempted to look at them. “

Martinez says that as models, parents should also limit their screen time. Martinez says it’s also important for parents to have honest and open conversations with their children about body image and social media.

Anyone experiencing a behavioral health crisis is encouraged to call the Burrell Crisis Line at 1-800-494-7355.

For non-crisis situations, if you need service, call 417-761-5000.

More information on Burrell’s Eating Disorder Services can be found here.

To report a correction or typo, please send an email [email protected]

Copyright 2021 KY3. All rights reserved.

About Deborah Wilson

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