Facebook making you psychotic?
It’s not in your head. Well, it is in your head, but it’s not in your head that it’s in your head. Sorry, we just got off Facebook, and we’re a bit confused.
A study out of Israel on the psychological effects of Facebook in certain scenarios has revealed some unnerving data on mental health and social networking — particularly during the fraught period after a breakup or catastrophic separation.
If you’ve experienced some adverse psychological symptoms relating to Facebook, you’re not alone — researchers at Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center looked at the mental health of patients as it related to their use of social media sites and uncovered some interesting findings.
Facebook users who were enduring “loneliness or vulnerability due to the loss of or separation from a loved one” were far more prone to experience intensified negative feelings relative to the time they spent online.
To wit, if you’re stressing out, Facebook may be exacerbating it. And the more you Facebook, the worse it may get!
CNet quotes Dr. Uri Nitzan of Sackler as saying:
” ‘In each case, a connection was found between the gradual development and exacerbation of psychotic symptoms, including delusions, anxiety, confusion, and intensified use of computer communications.’ (At the get-go, the patients in the study all had ‘relative inexperience with technology.’)”
Nitzan explained Facebook is a perfect storm for precipitating psychological unrest, with a number of factors working to unsettle a person in crisis:
“Some of the problematic features of the Internet relate to issues of geographical and spatial distortion, the absence of nonverbal cues, and the tendency to idealize the person with whom someone is communicating, becoming intimate without ever meeting face-to-face.”
Researchers on the Facebook psychosis study say depression, anxiety, and even delusions may result from Facebooking when emotionally stressed.