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Teen Mental Health and Social Media’s Impact

girl on phone learning about social media and teen mental health

If you’re worried about your teen’s mental health, it may be worth monitoring their relationships with social media. According to a recent Research Center survey, 45% of teens are online almost constantly and almost 100% use a social media platform. The latter includes YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Anything that’s a huge part of your teems life may influence their behaviors, emotions, and even their growth.

Sometimes, the effects of social media can be so troubling that you may consider having your teen undergo cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or another form of psychotherapy. This is an excellent idea because parents and caregivers may not have the tools to properly help their teens deal with psychological issues rooted in the idea of social media. Searching for cognitive-behavioral therapy options for teens near Denver, CO? Reach out to Imagine Fort Collins today by calling 888.291.2309 or contacting our team online.

How Does Social Media Affect Teen Mental Health?

Social media use can affect teen mental health negatively. It can be an avenue of peer pressure, distract them, disrupt their sleep, expose them to bullying and rumor-spreading, and teach them to have unrealistic views of others’ lives. Scrolling through social media platforms’ feeds can also turn into a process or behavioral addiction.

Studies also show that there are links between high levels of social media use and the rise of depression or anxiety symptoms. In fact, a recent study found that greater social media use and emotional investment in social media, such as feeling upset when prevented from logging on, were linked with worse sleep quality and higher levels of overall anxiety and depression. How teens use social media also might determine its impact. Another recent study found that social comparison and feedback-seeking by teens using social media were linked with depressive symptoms.

What Is Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

Because teen mental health involves treating the effects of social media use, and social media is a relatively new concept, healthcare professionals naturally turn to traditional, evidence-based techniques and make it a starting point for treatment.

Therapists use CBT to help patients identify and change their dysfunctional patterns. The structure and strategies of CBT make it an ideal treatment for patients dealing with the negative effects of social media use in their lives.

Apart from being used to help patients handle the effects of their social media use, CBT can also be effective in treating a wide range of other issues, including the following:

  • Bouts of anxiety
  • Depressive episodes
  • Eating disorders
  • Substance use disorders

How Does Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy Help Maintain Teen Mental Health?

CBT is a type of psychotherapy that’s based on the concept that there are significant connections between a patient’s behaviors, feelings, and thoughts. For example, a teen who thinks that the way they use social media is awkward may then experience anxiety and then avoid online social interactions although they still look at their social media feed. Teen mental health is helped by CBT because a teen like this will learn to identify their negative thoughts and then replace them with more realistic and helpful ones. The socially awkward teen, after CBT treatment, may no longer think they’re awkward and instead think they’re unique—and that uniqueness should be celebrated.

CBT helps teens learn how to interpret their environment differently, and it doesn’t take long before this type of therapy begins to positively affect patients. In general, CBT programs are generally short-term.

If you think your teen has developed a distorted core belief about themselves due to their social media use or is negatively affected by it otherwise, consider getting them assessed and possibly diagnosed. CBT or another type of therapy may be recommended for them to get on a better path to healing mentally.

Ready To Learn More About Imagine Fort Collins’s Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy?

If you’re looking for cognitive-behavioral therapy options for teens near Denver, CO, contact Imagine Fort Collins today. Reach out to our team online or call 888.291.2309.