Press Esc to close
Saturday 30 May 2015
News updated at 11:37 AM IST
Weather
Max: 32.4°C
Min : 22.3°C
In Bengaluru
Sunny day

Facebook can make you mentally ill: study

Jerusalem, May 5, 2013 (PTI)
File Image

Facebook and other social networking sites may affect your mental health by causing psychotic episodes and delusions, researchers warn.

As Internet access becomes increasingly widespread, so do related psychopathologies such as Internet addiction and delusions related to the technology and to virtual relationships, according to the study.

Computer communications such as Facebook and chat groups are an important part of this story, said Dr Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center.

According to Nitzan, patients shared some crucial characteristics, including loneliness or vulnerability due to the loss of or separation from a loved one, relative inexperience with technology, and no prior history of psychosis or substance abuse.
In each case, a connection was found between the gradual development and exacerbation of psychotic symptoms, including delusions, anxiety, confusion, and intensified use of computer communications.

The good news is that all of the patients, who willingly sought out treatment on their own, were able to make a full recovery with proper treatment and care, Nitzan said.

While technologies such as Facebook have numerous advantages, some patients are harmed by these social networking sites, which can attract those who are lonely or vulnerable in their day-to-day lives or act as a platform for cyber-bullying and other predatory behaviour, he said.

All three of Nitzan's patients sought refuge from a lonely situation and found solace in intense virtual relationships. Although these relationships were positive at first, they eventually led to feelings of hurt, betrayal, and invasion of privacy, said Nitzan.
"All of the patients developed psychotic symptoms related to the situation, including delusions regarding the person behind the screen and their connection through the computer," he said.

Two patients began to feel vulnerable as a result of sharing private information, and one even experienced tactile hallucinations, believing that the person beyond the screen was physically touching her.

Some of the problematic features of the Internet relate to issues of geographical and spatial distortion, the absence of non-verbal cues, and the tendency to idealise the person with whom someone is communicating, becoming intimate without ever meeting face-to-face.

All of these factors can contribute to a patient's break with reality, and the development of a psychotic state.

The study was published in the Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences.


Go to Top

Photo Gallery
Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha poses next to the newly launched BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe...

Bollywood actress Sonakshi Sinha poses next to the newly launched BMW 6 Series Gran Coupe...

Foreigners dance during Millionaire Bhanwar Lal Doshi's Diksha ceremony for becoming a Jain monk...

Foreigners dance during Millionaire Bhanwar Lal Doshi's Diksha ceremony for becoming a Jain monk...

A man takes a nap inside a car on a hot summer day in Ahmadabad...

A man takes a nap inside a car on a hot summer day in Ahmadabad...

A shepherd going with sheep to the next village near Jaliya Village in Beawar, Rajasthan...

A shepherd going with sheep to the next village near Jaliya Village in Beawar, Rajasthan...

Monsoon clouds hover over the Mumbai skyline near Marine Drive sea-face side on Friday...

Monsoon clouds hover over the Mumbai skyline near Marine Drive sea-face side on Friday...

An Indian child plays in front of a water sprinkler to cool off on a hot summer day...

An Indian child plays in front of a water sprinkler to cool off on a hot summer day...

Martina Hingis of Switzerland returns the ball as she plays with Sania Mirza...

Martina Hingis of Switzerland returns the ball as she plays with Sania Mirza...

Police detain National Students' Union of India (NSUI) activists during a protest...

Police detain National Students' Union of India (NSUI) activists during a protest...

Waleed Iqbal of Pakistan (Grandson of Muhammad Iqbal)...

Waleed Iqbal of Pakistan (Grandson of Muhammad Iqbal)...

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah eating mango after inaugurating Mango Jackfruit festival...

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah eating mango after inaugurating Mango Jackfruit festival...

Copyright 2014, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523