Social media addicts may land in an asylum for getting fewer ‘likes’ on Facebook posts
From sowing seeds of jealousy to creating discontent, Facebook is looked upon as the prime reason for these.
Recent studies show that fewer likes or comments on Facebook posts are landing many social media addicts in mental asylums claim doctors from premier psychiatric institutes across the country.
Dr Amool Singh Ranjan, head of department of clinical psychology, Ranchi Institute of Neuro-Psychiatry and Allied Sciences (RINPAS) says that on an average at least 20 patients across age groups develop schizophrenic symptoms every month due to their overindulge on social media.
“Living in the virtual world has become a peril for people. We are often amazed by the high number of people suffering from mental disorders due to social media,” Dr. Ranjan said.
Social media has become a part of daily life of people living not only in cities but also in semi-urban areas as well. Thanks to the ever increasing use of smartphones. However, doctors fear that people are moving away from the real world and getting themselves pushed towards unstable mental health due to this “overindulgence” in the virtual world.
Dr Ranjan cited an example of a girl in her late teens who throughout the counselling session at the institute spoke only about her pictures uploaded on Facebook and the reactions to it. Besides talking about her Facebook posts and friends from the virtual world, whom she had never met, she did not speak anything else.
While Dr Ranjan said that the disorder could be cured through counselling and a total prohibition of social media, but he also warned that such patients may also become violent if they are kept away from the virtual world.
Dr Neha Syed, assistant professor of clinical psychology, Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP), Ranchi says that reports of people committing suicide due to comments mocking them or over their friend request being rejected have also caught attention of the experts.
“We get at least 10 cases of depression due to social media every month. Many patients also show suicidal tendencies,” said Syed, who heads the Suicide Prevention Helpline and Clinic of CIP.
Requesting anonymity, a senior doctor from one of the leading private neuropsychiatry institutes in Kolkata, said that recently he had treated a teenage girl who was in love with a fake Facebook account, which was in reality run by her own sister.
“Both were in need of medical attention. One had an alter ego while the other was miles away from reality,” said the doctor, who was not allowed to reveal details of medical cases as per the hospital’s procedure.