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Thread: Social media and anxiety

  1. #1

    Social media and anxiety

    Hi, not sure if this has been posted before, but I have not been on the site for a few years. However, come back now as my anxiety has hit a new low, and actually making me physically ill. Went to the GP, she did a bunch of blood tests and basically I am perfectly healthy! Thats all good, as I do have health anxiety, but the GP has put me on 10mg of Citalopram. Started 5 days ago. No effects yet, but I know it takes a while to kick in.

    Anyway, one thing that I have thought about recently, and discussed with various people, is the impact of social media on my anxiety. After chatting to a friend who is also on Citalopram, I have decided to cut my Facebook usage down. I go on there and get irritated very easily. I see people posting pictures of their kids and their seemingly perfect lives. It makes me feel inadequate, like my life is isn't good enough.

    When I look at my life, it is good, I know its good. But I go on FB, and things people post make me feel worse. The barrage of baby/children pictures is the thing that gets to me the most. I am 35 and not sure if I want children. But I see friends, schools friends etc. all with their children and babies, and it makes me think that there is something wrong with me that I haven't chosen the baby route.

    I'm full of self-doubt. I don't know why I let people's lives affect me the way it does. Its not like I want what they have, because I don't. I am happy the way I am, but because I'm not going down the "normal" route like my FB friends have, I just feel that there must be something wrong with me.

    I presume others on here feel the same, as other people I have spoken to also feel similar. I just wanted to get other comments and advice on this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Posts
    152

    Re: Social media and anxiety

    Hi Petals, I feel the same way which is why I rarely go on FB. I found it was really depressing me. I have had other friends tell me that they feel the same as I do about it. So, you're not alone

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Posts
    231

    Re: Social media and anxiety

    Hi petals,

    I feel EXACTLY the same - if you read my previous posts relating to social anxiety you might find it reassuring!
    It's so difficult being a young woman (or anyone for that matter) and being constantly surrounded with the downward pull of social media, facebook and instagram have proved to be a breading pool for self esteem issues for myself. I constantly compare myself to other people, including my close friends and my partner's (long term who I live with) ex girlfriend, I just can't seem to give myself any credit at all and think that everyone is better than me!
    its really debilitating, but rest assured that you're not alone! I think counselling or talking therapy would be a really good option if you haven't already tried this, and also cutting the social media accounts all together is probably the best thing to do as I've found personally that when I've deactivated my facebook account for a week or so that I've actually felt a lot better and not been able to stalk over my boyfriend's ex girlfriend's profile and sit in self pity as I ponder over how stunning she is! I think it's really important to focus on your own life and your own goals and not compare those to other peoples, they might be at different points in life but it doesn't mean we are any worse off than them. I also saw a really meaningful quote recently that said 'the reason we struggle is because we compare our own behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel' - this couldn't be more true! I went to uni with a girl who has recently got married and had a baby and their facebook account pictures look like something out of a catalogue, I thought they were the dream family until I heard from another friend that she is suffering with PND and they are considering splitting up, people paint a very different picture on social media to what is actually happening in reality!

    I hope you start to feel better, feel free to drop me a DM for any help or support x

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Posts
    1,604

    Re: Social media and anxiety

    I wouldn't entirely agree with you but I do understand your point of view.

    I avoided Facebook until only a few months ago and have found friends from 30 or 40 years ago and that is quite nice and in some cases we have contacted each other with so much to talk about.
    Like anything FB can be addictive and it is to many who put up pictures on a daily basis of what they have had for lunch, which I imagine can only be of interest to a very few.
    Being selective isn't a bad idea,but on balance I personally don't think it is a trigger for anxiety, but never ever put up too much information about yourself.

  5. #5

    Re: Social media and anxiety

    Thanks for the replies guys. Good to know I'm not alone! white1989, that's interesting about the girl that you went to uni with. I think what bugs me is that it is all about showing off and no one is being true to my themselves. Fakebook is a good name for it! Some people are honest online, but that seems to be few and far between. x

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    458

    Re: Social media and anxiety

    Petals I totally agree and actually deactivated my account a while ago (although I'm back on it now as in a better place with the knowledge that those who constantly show off are trying to make us more sensitive souls a wee bit jealous). No one has a perfect life no matter how much they try to convince us otherwise. I'm actually not averse to unfriending people now who get on my wick.
    A few years down the line and Facebook will be history. My advice would be to stay off it until you feel you're in a place where you don't care anymore, then pick and choose your friends. No one has 500 friends despite what their FB page may say!!! Better to have 2 inspiring, understanding and supportive ones than hundreds of fakes. Xx

  7. #7

    Re: Social media and anxiety

    Crystalhiggs, you make a lot of sense! I think I will deactivate my account. There's only a few ppl on there who I actually like anyway, most are just school acquaintances, and most of them I have started to unfollow because of their constant updates.

    I actually read in the newspaper the other day our social media can make people depressed. It must affect more people than I realise x

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    1,671

    Re: Social media and anxiety

    I have rarely use Facebook. I preferred it back in 2006 to 2008 when less people were using it. I have asked people nicely please do not upload any photos which feature me on their profile page.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Posts
    20,619

    Re: Social media and anxiety

    I agree with Ricardo, it is what you make of it. But I think it also really depends on those you interact with. Some people use it to show off or pursue the social fame that breeds celebs thesedays or just upload any old rubbish.

    I was watching Room 101 last night and Aled Jones wanted Christmas "Round Robin" cards put in because of the people who tell you about their perfect year when you really didn't want to know anyway and it's always people who have fantastic lives. Those kind of people are the ones I think of when I see threads like this, the "oneupmanship" and "Keeping up with the Joneses". It reminds me of Hyancinth Bucket on Keeping Up Appearances talking about her son or sister on the phone and how successful they are when she's phoned Royal Mail about a parcel.

    Comparing yourself to others is a negative and in therapy they tend to advise against this and to spend more time looking at your good points and what you want. The trouble is, we live in a world that is obsessed with success on the basis of status. I remember even seeing a book about "Status Anxiety". Certainly some of that drove me to an anxiety disorder as I worked in an environment where you are "empire building" or sticking it to others. I no longer want that sort of life.
    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    For free Mindfulness resources, please see this thread I have created to compile many sources together http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=168689

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    966

    Re: Social media and anxiety

    I use Facebook to be in touch with people abroad, to read and post interesting info and for the Sell and Seek groups. I never post anything about myself.
    I never feel bad about people's seemingly perfect lives because I know it is sooo not true. My sister in law is really miserable about her life and has depression and yet when you see her on FB you would think her life is great...and I know many more like her so...xxx

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