Social Media and Teen Anxiety – A Helpful Guide for Parents and Teens
— Dr. Anne Marie Albano
UNITED STATES, May 9, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — Lumate Health, a provider of gold-standard cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) for teens with anxiety, is addressing the impact of social media on mental health.
With the widespread use of social media among teens, more and more parents are concerned that their teenagers are suffering because of it, especially when their teen struggles with anxiety. And these parents’ concerns are valid. Research has shown that excessive social media use can increase feelings of anxiety, depression, and loneliness among teens.
Two of Lumate Health’s co-founders, Dr. Anne Marie Albano and Dr. Kate McKnight, share what the research says about social media use and mental health. They offer advice for how to notice when social media is making anxiety worse, and they give concrete tips for how to reduce this risk.
“Nearly half of teens today say they use the Internet “almost constantly.” Research has shown that all that time spent on social media has led to disruptive sleep that increases symptoms of insomnia and depression, and that spending more than three hours per day on social media may put teens at a heightened risk for mental health problems.” says Dr. Albano.
Drs. Albano and McKnight know from personal and professional experience that taking an all-or-nothing stance on social media can backfire. With that in mind, they start by helping parents understand its allure for teens, such as community building. Giving parents a window into their teen’s perspective helps them have an ongoing, judgment-free conversation about the issue. This increases the chance that their teen will come to them for advice without fear of being punished or brushed aside.
Parents can also model healthy social media habits. This might include starting a family-wide technology agreement, scheduling screen-free activities, and using social media together so you can talk through the benefits and drawbacks as a family.
“Ultimately, social media is an inescapable part of the current adolescent landscape. Like many things in a teenager’s life, this landscape has peaks, valleys, and unclear pathways. Parents and guardians who engage in open dialogue and partner with teens to mitigate social media risks will provide a steady hand for navigating this world together.” says Dr. McKnight.
When should parents be concerned? Our experts say that parents should pay particular attention if their teenager becomes more irritable or withdrawn when talking about social media, less interested in in-person activities they used to enjoy, less motivated to stay clean, eat regular meals, do their homework or go to school or more secretive about social media use.
Of course, short periods of moodiness or low motivation can be normal for teenagers. However, when parents see continuous behavior that concerns them, connecting with outside resources can be helpful and can provide them with extra support.
Lumate Health is a telehealth company whose mission is to support teenagers and parents and to provide access to high-quality, evidence-based care for teens with anxiety. If you think that social media is causing problematic worry or anxiety in your teenager, we hope Lumate can be a resource for you.
Email [email protected] or call 1-800-402-8768 to speak with a member of our team.
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