Press Esc to close
Friday 31 October 2014
News updated at 7:36 PM IST
Weather
Max: 28.4°C
Min : 18°C
In Bangalore
Partially cloudy

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
Security personnel patrol a street after a protest by the supporters of Jammu and Kashmir...

Security personnel patrol a street after a protest by the supporters of Jammu and Kashmir...

India A players Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey during a practice match against Sri Lanka...

India A players Rohit Sharma and Manish Pandey during a practice match against Sri Lanka...

Indian Air Force officers arrive at the Gateway of India after swimming for a distance...

Indian Air Force officers arrive at the Gateway of India after swimming for a distance...

The Navy hovercraft carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Sagar Island...

The Navy hovercraft carrying West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee to Sagar Island...

A Rajasthani herder with his cows in Gurgaon...

A Rajasthani herder with his cows in Gurgaon...

Devotees wait for the Sun to offer prayers, during Chhath Puja festival in Agra...

Devotees wait for the Sun to offer prayers, during Chhath Puja festival in Agra...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on Black Money with a message...

Sand artist Sudarsan Pattnaik creates a sand sculpture on Black Money with a message...

BJP workers arrange the cut-outs of party symbol (lotus) to decorate the boats at the Marine...

BJP workers arrange the cut-outs of party symbol (lotus) to decorate the boats at the Marine...

A police man investigates the tunnel dug up by the robbers in Gohana bank heist, in Sonipat...

A police man investigates the tunnel dug up by the robbers in Gohana bank heist, in Sonipat...

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan sweeps in a stree during a cleanliness drive as a part...

Bollywood megastar Amitabh Bachchan sweeps in a stree during a cleanliness drive as a part...

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