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How Social Media Triggers Depression In People

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A Clinical Pyschologist and Emotions Therapist, Mr. Enitan Oyenuga on Wednesday attributed the high rate of depression and suicide amongst youths in Nigeria to emotional attachment and falsehood of social media.

Oyenuga said this in an interview in Abuja.

According to Oyenuga, social media is a good technological innovation, but has been used by many people to exaggerate their strengths and achievements rather than a combination of strengths and weaknesses.

“It’s been observed that people on social media post areas that show their sophistication compared to their labor, they post areas that promote their significance as oppose their labour.

“The way the brain chemistry works is that for every time you go on social media, you see other people progress as a negative for yourself.

“Those yet to attain those achievements, begin to see themselves as less and not hard working enough.

“This less worth feeling could lead to depression and if not properly managed could lead to suicidal thoughts and non-acceptance by the society,” he said.

He said that for every time a person chose to like or dislike a post on social media, the functions of the human brain got altered.

Oyenuga explained that the chemistry behind such alteration was that once the person whose picture was liked saw the ‘Like’, it altered the person’s brain for good, making the person feel elated but brought dysphoria to the person who liked the post.

“So as the dysphoria increases it alters the brain chemistry then the person starts to have suicidal adulation.

“The person’s mood starts to alter, as the mood alters the person goes through anhedonia thereby losing interest in what he or she ordinarily love to do,” he explained.

Dysphoria is an emotional state that can follow a variety of mental illnesses or physical conditions. A person with dysphoria often experiences profound uneasiness and dissatisfaction with life, followed by depression, anxiety and agitation.

Meanwhile, Anhedonia is the persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that characterises major depression that can lead to a range of behavioural and physical symptoms.

These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, daily behaviour or self-esteem.

He advised Nigerians to be conscious of each other’s attitude in order to notice psychological changes and call for assistance when needed and on time.

The Psychologist encouraged parents to communicate and spend quality time with their children in order to identify depression signs at an early stage and call for psychological intervention when due to avoid suicide.

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