Social media and mental health problems

Is your child constantly glued to their computer, iPad, phone, xbox, or playstation? If so, there is reason to question how they are looking after their mental health.

As a counsellor in her late 20's with teenage sisters, I am aware of the influence social media now has on people compared to how it did when I was growing up. When I was growing up, I spent my time playing outside, meeting up with friends, and just generally having fun. My mobile was what they would call nowadays 'a brick' that had no access to the internet. Those were the days...

Now, children have constant access to both positive and negative influences without having to even leave the house. They fear they won't be classed as being 'cool' if they don't have Facebook, where they can see what the newest trend is or where everyone is tagging themselves into. 

This can be okay in moderation, however, there are more and more children depending on this to organise their day without having to go out and properly socialise. In turn, the children do not get the benefits of going outside and speaking to someone face to face. In fact, this idea of face to face contact makes them feel ancient. It's also getting to the point where children are not getting enough sleep due to sitting on their phones for the majority of the night.

This is where everybody needs to remember that information on social media may not always be positive - there can be many negative influences on this too. Individuals never post information about the bad days they might be having, and are only posting positive information. For someone reading this that is having a rubbish day, this will make them feel ten times worse.

This is where counselling can help. As a counsellor, I look at all the factors in an individual's lifestyle - their sleep patterns, diet, family lifestyle, etc - looking at the issues that cause trouble and what the individuals' behaviour is before, for example, going to bed. I help to remind the individual the link between their physical and mental health, and how one small change can make a big difference. This is all about changing the unhelpful thought patterns that they might not even notice they are doing.

So, instead of spending your day worrying about how many likes you are getting on a post, go out for a walk, or do something for yourself that you enjoy doing. If you have any questions regarding this, just give me a buzz on 07719 862 462.

Counselling Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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