In recent years, Selena Gomez has become really transparent about her mental health issues. In 2018, she opened up that she was suffering from depression and anxiety, and how going to rehab to seek treatment made her feel strengthened. In 2019, she shared how her mental health journey led her to one of the most eerie moments of her life, and how getting a clear diagnosis helped her in so many ways. She has been vocal about her experience in therapy and last year revealed how mental health medication completely changed her life. She even launched her own mental health platform, Wondermind. In August last year, she became candid in an interview with She about life since she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and the different ways she takes control of her mental health. In a recent interview, Gomez revealed how social media affects her mentally and the things she does to find balance.
“I certainly felt like I might not be good enough or I should look a certain way,” Gomez said in a recent interview with USA today. “I had a hard time, but it’s actually been four years for me without social media on my phone besides TikTok. So it’s been wonderful. I still post and do what I do, but I’ve learned to have a balance with it. and do not let it consume me. “
Four years ago, Gomez was the most followed person on Instagram. But the pressure that came with it profoundly affected her. In her September She interview, she shared how in 2017 she handed over all the passwords to her social media accounts to her assistant. Since then, she has never posted directly. Most of what she does is give her assistant ideas, pictures and even quotes for potential posts. Part of Gomez’s struggle with Instagram was how it constantly made her feel like she “was not pretty enough.”
“At one point, Instagram became my whole world, and it was really dangerous. In my early 20s, I felt like I wasn’t pretty enough. There was a whole period in my life where I thought I needed to makeup and would never be. seen without, “she said With style. “The older I got, the more I developed and realized I had to take control of how I felt. I wanted to be able to look at myself in the mirror and feel confident to be who I am.”
Gomez went on to tell how taking a break from social media was the best decision she has ever made for her mental health. “I made a system where I still have no passwords. And the unnecessary hatred and comparisons disappeared when I put my phone away from me. I want moments where the strange feeling will come back, but now I feel much better. relationship with myself. “
Gomez’s fight highlights the serious impact social media can have on one’s mental health – especially for young people. Several studies have touched on the link between social media and mental health. It has even been referred to as a public health crisis. According to a 2017 study by the Pew Research Center, 69 percent of adults and 81 percent of teens in the United States use social media. And that was in 2017 – imagine today! There is also research showing that envy on social media can lead to anxiety and depression, where women are more likely to be mentally affected by social media than men.
“While social media can be a powerful community-building and information-sharing tool, it has an addictive quality,” said licensed therapist and coach Josie Rosario. “Studies have shown how its use releases dopamine, a ‘feel good’ chemical that keeps you connected to the platform. Excessive use can lead to anxiety, depression and other mental health conditions, as it can promote feelings of inadequacy, FOMO and self-confidence – criticism among others. “
Gomez ‘body image struggles and the feeling that she “was not beautiful enough” are a common effect of excessive use of social media, especially for girls and young women. Rosario explained how access to filters and other image editing tools affects and in some ways even dictates today’s beauty standards. Young women are experiencing so much pressure with social media that many are even having plastic surgery or cosmetic procedures done to see what they look like in filters in real life. But Rosario believes this pressure is even tougher for colored girls and women.
“This is especially dangerous for black and brown girls, because as a society organized around race, the pervasive message is that white is superior and everything else is inferior. So you have young girls who already feel less than to get a message that reinforces this idea with the unspoken expectation that they should strive to mirror digitally enhanced images. From a neuroscience perspective, it deepens the grooves in the brain related to feelings of self-worth. “
Jasmine Cepeda, a licensed therapist who specializes in psychodynamic and somatic-based therapy, also cares about how social media affects how people think about mental health and therapy at all.
“It has already been said that Instagram can make people compare themselves to others, self-guess and lead to a generally low self-esteem on the ER … but as a psychotherapist myself, my biggest concern is how Instagram affects how “People affect people. See therapy,” Cepeda said. “Yes, maybe social media is normalizing therapy and making it popular, but like all things that are becoming popular, the complexity is lost.” She explained how social media platforms like Instagram are designed to make you addicted to new content every few seconds. “People forget that it’s a big company manipulating you, and like many things that are becoming mainstream, social media presents therapy as a quick general life coaching. It’s not therapy, at least not with me.”
Unfortunately, social media and mental health have developed a rather controversial relationship, and while people could probably really benefit from getting completely away from it, it may not exactly be practical for many, especially those whose work is tied to the platform. But luckily, there are ways to make it work for you while protecting your mental health, self-esteem and overall well-being. Rosario and Cepeda recommend a few things for people looking to find balance.
Set boundaries for social media
“Limits can look like using your phone’s screen time feature, which allows you to set a limit on the use of social media apps,” Rosario said. “If you’re capable of it, you can have a work phone and a personal phone to further separate the two, especially if it’s necessary for work, which is more true these days.”
If social media greatly affects your mental health and you do not have a business to promote, or they do not improve your career in any way, Cepeda strongly suggests that you drop it. She believes that the negative effects of social media can easily outweigh the good.
“I’m really curious why people use it so much if they have no business to promote,” she said. “Instagram is one big business – a big mall of ads. Celebrities are ads. They have companies and products to promote. What are you doing on Instagram? If it’s to see what your friends are up to, why not call or texting or hanging out with them to find out? “
But if you really need to be on it, then be strategic about how much of your time you dedicate to it. “If you have a business to promote or need to be on for your job, I would say post and stay away,” she added. “Think like Beyoncé. She drops her music and calms down. I love it. Do it! Send and be gone. If you need to check comments or messages, do it with a timer on and stop when the timer is off. Let help make it interrupt your real life. “
Get support to limit your time on social media
“Because of its addictive quality, a strong support system can be deeply beneficial. People can also start tracking their use so they have a baseline and decide on a plan for how to reduce use in a way that is consistent with how they want to be in the relationship with apps, “Rosario said. “Some people find it helpful to stop using completely, while others may prefer to fall over time. There are many ways to do this. What is important is that you are awake and alert throughout the process and feel empowered to redefine your relationship with social media as you see fit. “
Latina therapists weight Selena Gomez’s decision to take breaks on social media, originally published on POPSUGAR Latina
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