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Antidepressants May Not Be The Best Way To Cut Depression, This One Is – Says New Study

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The percentage of adults who use social media in the United Kingdom went from 45 percent in 2011 to 71 percent in 2021. Approximately 97 percent of individuals aged 16 to 44 use social media on a regular basis, and 95 percent of adults have used the internet in the previous three months.

A study undertaken by a group of academics at the University of Bath discovered that taking a week off from social media enhances a person’s well-being and lowers melancholy and anxiety. Taking a break from social media, according to the study’s authors, may be recommended as a strategy to manage and reduce their mental health in the future.

Before the study began, participants’ anxiety, depression, and overall well-being (satisfaction and feeling of purpose) were assessed. The participants in the study ranged in age from 18 to 72 years old and used social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok.

Participants in the research said they spent an average of eight hours each week on social media. Giving up social media for a week provided some users with nine hours of spare time.

Researchers randomly assigned 154 participants, ranging in age from 18 to 72, who said they used social media every day to one of two groups: one in which participants were asked to refrain from using social media for one week, and the other in which participants were allowed to use social media as usual. The participants were 29.6 years old on average.

The experimental group that was instructed to avoid social media found it difficult to comply and spent an average of 21 minutes online, or around three minutes every day. Those that were allowed to use social media for an extended period of time did so for an average of 7 hours.

Dr. Jeff Lambert, the principal researcher from Bath’s Department of Health, said, “Scrolling social media is so ubiquitous that many of us do it almost without thinking from the moment we wake up to when we close our eyes at night.”

The researchers added: “Many of our participants reported positive effects from being off social media with improved mood and less anxiety overall. This suggests that even just a small break can have an impact.”

“Of course, social media is a part of life and for many people, it’s an indispensable part of who they are and how they interact with others,” Lambert said, “But if you are spending hours each week scrolling and you feel it is negatively impacting you, it could be worth cutting down on your usage to see if it helps. “

Participants who completed the one-week “detox” from social media reported significant improvements in well-being, depression, and anxiety compared to those who continued to use social media.

Image Credit: Getty

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