Social media use linked to depression in older people

Even though social media has been commonly linked to stress and despair in teenagers, new proof implies that platforms this kind of as TikTok and Instagram can depart middle-aged grownups feeling unhappy, way too.

The study, printed Tuesday in the medical journal JAMA Network Open, is based mostly on a sequence of surveys of 5,395 grownups whose common age was 56.

The surveys, done from Might 2020 through May perhaps this year, commenced as a way for scientists to understand far more about how grownups were being coping through the Covid-19 pandemic.

In excess of time, scientists progressively grew to become interested in no matter if social media use may possibly be linked to alterations in mental health.

“We were asking people who weren’t frustrated about their social media use,” claimed Dr. Roy Perlis, one of the study’s authors. “Then we arrived again later on to see if the people today who had been using sure sorts of social media were additional probable to be frustrated.”

When compared to adults who did not use social media, “people who ended up employing Fb, persons who had been working with TikTok, and individuals who ended up using Snapchat have been significantly additional probably to appear again and notify us they felt depressed the future time they filled out the survey,” explained Perlis, a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Professional medical University and Massachusetts Normal Medical center.

The research does not demonstrate social media causes melancholy. In truth, it is probable that men and women already vulnerable to experience unhappy have been more probable to log on to this sort of web sites.

But it provides to proof of a developing psychological health disaster in the United States. Approximately one particular-third of American grownups described emotion depressed in an Oct analyze, up from 8.5 % just before the pandemic.

Survey respondents who had nominal indications of depression early on ended up extra probable to report an enhance in signs in later surveys if they used social media.

The investigate is constrained in that it can’t tease out what sorts of content folks were being exposed to or sought out on the internet. And former investigation has proven an total maximize in social media use around the earlier calendar year.

Outside professionals theorize that looking at some others enjoying existence or in any other case seemingly dwelling their finest lives on social media could remind individuals of what they’ve been missing this previous calendar year.

Keep in mind that social media tends to act as a variety of “sizzle reel” for folks, suggested Mitch Prinstein, chief science officer for the American Psychological Association.

“Our brains were not created for this type of social conversation. And social media is sort of hijacking the need for social interaction with a thing incredibly synthetic and insufficient,” he stated. “Social media is the empty energy of social interaction.”

Rachel Wu, an affiliate professor of psychology at the University of California, Riverside, agreed. Social media may possibly

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IBD may disrupt gut-brain axis, raising risk of anxiety, depression

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New research in mice suggests that a broken link between the gut and the brain may explain the effect of IBD on mental health. RapidEye/Getty Images
  • Around 30% of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) experience depression, anxiety, or both.
  • A new study in mice suggests that impaired communication between the gut and the brain may be partly responsible.
  • The study found that a gateway between the bloodstream and cerebrospinal fluid may close to protect the brain from inflammation during flare-ups.
  • This may disrupt the gut-brain axis, a communication channel between the gut and brain with possible links to mental health.

IBD involves chronic inflammation of the gut.

There are two main types: Crohn’s disease, which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, and ulcerative colitis, which only affects the large intestine and rectum.

In 2015, an estimated 3.1 million adults in the United States, or 1.3% of the adult population, had received an IBD diagnosis.

Symptoms of IBD include persistent diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, and fatigue.

According to one study, around 30% of individuals with IBD also experience depression, anxiety, or both.

The pain and discomfort that some people experience with certain chronic illnesses increase their risk of developing mental health illnesses. However, that does not appear to be the whole story in IBD.

“While the overall impact of the disease on overall quality of life no doubt plays an important role in triggering anxiety and depression in IBD, there is also increasing evidence of direct biological connections between IBD-associated inflammation and neuropsychiatric diseases,” said Dr. Gerard Honig, director of research innovation at the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation in New York, NY.

“Anxiety and depression are, in fact, experienced by a large proportion of patients affected by [IBD],” he told Medical News Today.

“These comorbid conditions are also associated with worsened IBD outcomes,” said Dr. Honig.

According to Crohn’s & Colitis UK, feelings of stress, anxiety, or depression can trigger new symptoms in the gut.

A newly published study now suggests that IBD directly affects the brain by disrupting the gut-brain axis.

The gut-brain axis is a two-way channel of communication between the gut and the central nervous system. Microorganisms living in the gut play a prominent role in the relationship, although, as in this new study, findings to date are mainly in rodent models.

The new study found that inflammation in the gut may close a key gateway in this communication system that controls the exchange of signals between the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF).

Unlike the blood-brain barrier, which prevents large molecules in the bloodstream from entering the brain, the gateway between the CSF and blood usually permits the passage of smaller molecules.

But the study found that it responds to inflammatory signals from the gut by slamming shut, presumably to prevent inflammation from spreading to the brain.

The research showed that in a mouse model of IBD, closure of the gateway disrupted memory and caused anxiety.

The research

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