Facebook depression is real and could be a clinical term someday according to a new American Academy of Pediatric clinical report. As the report explains, “Researchers have proposed a new phenomenon called “Facebook depression,” deﬁned as depression that develops when preteens and teens spend a great deal of time on social media sites, such as Facebook, and then begin to exhibit classic symptoms of depression.” The quest to be cool extends far beyond who sits where at the cafeteria table.
The clinical report suggests it is now the role of the doctors to help parents and teens. “Pediatricians are in a unique position to educate families about both the complexities of the digital world and the challenging social and health issues that online youth experience by encouraging families to face the core issues of bullying, popularity and status, depression and social anxiety, risk-taking and sexual development.”
Teens and Internet Addiction
While some parents are concerned their teens may get hooked on drugs or alcohol, another growing concern for parents is teenage internet addiction. confirms parents have a right to worry, because there are many health and social issues for young people who spend too much time online. In fact, a new study found prolonged internet use to be linked to obesity, social isolation, skipping meals, sleeping problems, and developing depression and stress.
Internet Addiction Study Linked to Depression in Adults
It may turn out that investing all that time on Facebook and blogging might have adverse affects for adults too. In a recent study out of the UK and published in the Journal of Psycopathology, it was revealed that excessive internet usage may be linked to depression. This new form of “internet addiction” may be adversely affecting young people (ages 16 and up) for the escapism that the internet allows. In a survey of 1,319 people aged 16 to 51, about 220 were classified as “Internet addicted”, which is considered being online to the point where it affects your daily activities. The term internet addiction is not a recognized as a clinical mental disorder, but some researchers are still working on .
What is Cyberbullying?
Being a bully back in the day used to be simpler. A big kid cornered someone smaller than himself and demanded their lunch money. With the advent of cell phones, instant messaging and social networks such as Facebook, a new form of intimidation and harassment called cyberbullying has entered the teen landscape.
A pair of researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire recently released a fact sheet based on research involving about 2,000 randomly selected middle-school students from one of the largest school districts in the country. Sameer Hinduja and Justin W. Patchin of the Cyberbullying Research Center found that 30 percent of middle school students were victims of at least one form of cyberbullying two or more times in the past month and 22 percent of students admitted to engaging in at least one type of cyberbullying in the past 30 days.
What Can Parents Do?