x
Breaking News
More () »

Cleveland's Leading Local News: Weather, Traffic, Sports and more | Cleveland, Oh | WKYC.com

How social media is affecting our mental health

Experts say failing to stop and recognize how social media is affecting our mood can lead to overexposure of traumatic and stressful events.

Most social media sites were created to help us keep in touch with friends and family, but social media has since taken on a life of its own, especially during this contentious time in history.

It's easy to be overwhelmed by conflicting information, opinions and arguments, and being constantly immersed in this tense environment can wear on your mental health.

Click here for more health coverage

Andrea Koder had enough of the endless debates on social media.  

 "The comment sections just get bombarded with negativity and hate-filled comments and that's really hard to see,” Koder said.

She decided to take control and removed social apps from her phone and scaled back on people and organizations she follows.

It's something mental health professionals say is a good idea as we all experience the stress of recent turmoil, from a global pandemic to racial injustices and political divisiveness over the upcoming presidential election.

“We have seen spikes in cases of anxiety, depression, suicidality. we have seen spikes in use of mood-altering substances to cope,” says Ken Yeager, Ph.D. of the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center.

It's an emerging public health concern made worse by our inability to disconnect, but a new survey of 2,000 people by the Ohio State University Wexner Medical center finds Americans are beginning to make adjustments.

More than half have changed their social media habits this year and one in five make a point of taking social media breaks.

Experts say failing to stop and recognize how social media is affecting our mood can lead to overexposure of traumatic and stressful events.

A good first step is to get off social media and reconnect with friends and family, even if it's a phone call or video chat. In these stressful times, experts say if you find yourself regularly feeling panicked or you're having trouble connecting with others or regulating your mood, it is a good idea to seek counseling from a mental health professional to help find ways to cope.