Social Media and Mental Health 

April 24, 2023

“I’ve seen lots of news stories linking adolescent social media use to bad mental health outcomes. What’s the connection between these things?” 

In the last decade, teens have experienced soaring rates of mental health problems, including depression, anxiety and suicide. Researchers believe there’s a correlation between these issues and social media. Here’s why.  


This acronym stands for Fear of Missing Out. Kids today feel pressure to be constantly connected, lest they miss something important in their peer group. 


Comparison is an inescapable part of growing up. But social media creates distortions in how adolescents view themselves if they feel they don’t measure up to their peers. 

Sleep Deprivation: 

Teens using smartphones at night may feel compelled to respond to every notification, resulting in health-damaging sleep deprivation. 


Today’s bullying often happens online via social media, exposing victims to public shaming and humiliation on a broader, more public scale. 

Dopamine Dependency: 

Screen interaction releases a pleasurable neurotransmitter called dopamine. Also, the more we get, the more our brains crave it. Dopamine dependency means our brains may struggle to function healthily without constant digital stimulation. 

Relational Isolation: 

For many kids, especially after COVID lockdowns, face-to-face time with friends has largely been replaced by online connectivity, making friendship more challenging to cultivate. 

Sedentary Lifestyles: 

Social media usage often goes hand in hand with being sedentary instead of being physically active. 

Next Steps for Social Media Use and Mental Health Struggles 

Taken together, these unintended consequences of social media and smartphone availability are clearly taking a toll on adolescents’ mental health. However, as a parent, you have the unique opportunity to establish healthy boundaries for your kids and teens to help them overcome common mental health struggles because of social media use. We encourage you to take advantage of these moments to have a positive impact in your child’s life so they can continue to develop healthy habits. 

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Focus on the Family’s Counseling Staff is a group of highly experienced, state-licensed clinicians and pastoral counselors who specialize in addressing personal and family issues from a biblical perspective. Focus has enjoyed a long and valued referral relationship with Meier Clinics and other like-minded agencies who serve the cause of Christ in their clinical work. Focus on the Family offers free consultation through 1-855-771-HELP.

At Meier Clinics, all of our counseling staff are in agreement with our Christian statement of faith.   They are Christian and respect our clients’ beliefs, meeting our clients where they feel comfortable in their spiritual beliefs. Call us at 888-7CLINICS to get set up with one of our Christian counselors.


Take the First Step

If you're contemplating whether Meier Clinics can provide the mental health support you need, don't hesitate to reach out to us. We understand that determining whether our programs and services are the right fit for you or someone close to you can be challenging. You can start the process by filling out a simple form, and one of our empathetic and caring staff members will reach out to you. Let us help you determine if we can provide the assistance you need.

  • There is no shame in reaching out
  • We're here to help, never to judge
  • We accept insurance and have financial programs

All inquiries are completely confidential.

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