Social media is making teen girls suicidal

Research comparing depressive symptoms with the use of devices by 133,000 teenagers found a greater effect on girls than boys

Research comparing depressive symptoms with the use of devices by 133,000 teenagers found a greater effect on girls than boys

And researchers have attributed this link to an increased use of social media. Meanwhile, the number of female teenagers reporting symptoms of severe depression rose by 58 percent. Suicide-related thoughts and behaviors among teen girls, which can include planning or attempting suicide, increased by 12 percent. The results found that the suicide rate for girls, aged between 13 to 18 years, increased by 65 per cent.

-Teens' use of electronic devices including smartphones for at least five hours daily more than doubled, from 8 percent in 2009 to 19 percent in 2015.

Depressive symptoms were more common in teens who spent a lot of time on their devices, as well. Recent teen suicides have been blamed on cyberbullying, and social media posts depicting "perfect" lives may be taking a toll on teens' mental health, researchers say. However, they noticed that teens had reported in the surveys a change in how they spent their free time.

"When the teens were asked about their leisure time activities, majority increasingly spent more time with screens and less time on other activities".

"When I first saw these sudden increases in mental health issues, I wasn't sure what was causing them", said Twenge.

Are you in the habit of spending more time on cellphones, tablets or playing computer games?

Twenge concluded that limiting screen-time to one or two hours per day would statistically fall into the safe zone for device usage.

Study author Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University said: 'These increases in mental health issues among teens are very alarming.

It was also suggested that engaging in social interaction, sports and exercise, doing homework, attending religious services, and others, was linked to having fewer depressive symptoms and suicide-related outcomes. "Teens are telling us they are struggling, and we need to take that very seriously". Suicide is the second leading cause of death among people ages 15-34 and the third leading cause among those ages 10-14.

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