Is Social Media Giving Us Anxiety?

One in Four Canadians will suffer from anxiety, with social media at the forefront, we need to ask: Is Social Media Giving Us Anxiety?

Anxiety is a tricky thing – a very natural response our bodies have when presented with stress. It’s also fear of the unknown and a feeling of unease.  While it is quite usual for most people to experience an unnerving feeling when starting their first day of school, or attending a job interview – some people experience these unsettling feelings on a daily basis. According to the Anxiety Disorders of Canada’s website; “Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent mental illness affecting Canadian adults.[1] The 12 month prevalence for any anxiety disorder is over 12% [2] and one in four Canadians will have at least one anxiety disorder in their lifetime”. [3] With Social Media now at the forefront of our lives, this statistic may be on the rise.

Social Media Anxiety outlines the connection between social media and anxiety through 3 major stressors, along with the individual’s “addiction” to social media.

The first stressor is the Fear of Missing Out, which causes an individual to compulsively check social media. Their addiction makes them feel as though they must always stay connected in order to avoid missing out on any updates or information, causing them to feel anxious.

This also connects to the second stressor, which is the resulting anxious or nervous feeling when an individual does not have access to a social media platform. Many of us can relate to this feeling when we lose our phones or when we lose access to the internet for a period of time.

Lastly, the third stressor noted is how often we are actually checking out of conversations with loved ones or friends because we are so concerned with checking in to our social media feeds.

While this video outlines the tips you can use to ensure you don’t fall into the social media sinkhole, sometimes an extra hand is needed. At The Therapy Centre, our team of experienced and dedicated clinicians are here to offer support to clients in need of counselling for anxiety disorders, phobias and stress management. Our clinics are located in Oakville and Hamilton, extending services to individuals living in Peel Region, Halton Region and Hamilton – Wentworth.

Other links of interest:

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/why-we-worry/201612/social-media-loneliness-and-anxiety-in-young-people

Useful apps for fear, anxiety, relaxation and more

References:

[1] , 2 Kessler, R. C., Nelson, C.B., McGonagle, K. A. et al. (1996). The epidemiology of cooccurring mental disorders and substance use disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey: implications for prevention and service utilization. American Journal of Orthopsychiatry, 66 (1), 17-31. Retrieved from website: http://anxietycanada.ca/english/pdf/kirby.pdf

[2] Offord, D. R., Boyle, M. H., Campbell, D., Goering, P., Lin, E., Wong, M., & Racine, Y. A. (1996). One year prevalence of psychiatric disorders in Ontarians 15 to 64 years of age. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 41, 559-561. Retrieved from website: http://anxietycanada.ca/english/pdf/kirby.pdf

[3] 3 Kessler, R. C., McGonagle, K.A., Zhao, S. et al. (1994). Lifetime and 12 month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United States: results from the National Comorbidity Survey. Archives of General Psychiatry, 51, 8-19. Retrieved from website: http://anxietycanada.ca/english/pdf/kirby.pdf

 

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