Report: Instagram may be bad for young people’s mental health

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It's one of the most popular social media apps, but a new report says Instagram could be bad for young people's mental health.

Researchers from the Royal Society for Public Health, in conjunction with the Young Health Movement, published the report which looked at the effects of social media on the health and well-being of adolescents and young adults. About 1,500 people between the ages of 14 and 24 were surveyed.

Researchers found that spending a lot of time using social media can be damaging to the mental health of young people, and revealed that Instagram was the worst, followed by Snapchat.

Dr. Susan Cooperman is a neuropsychologist and psychoanalyst with NYU Langone Huntington. She says she has seen an increase in requests for counseling from young people in the past few years – something she attributes to the increased use of social media. 

Cooperman says now more than ever, it's important for parents to look out for warning signs.

“If you stay in contact with your child, you know when they are all of a sudden more agitated or when they all of a sudden stop eating,” she says.

Cooperman says therapy is helpful if parents notice this behavior.

The study said only YouTube made participants feel slightly better in terms of well-being.  All five social media platforms were associated with a cycle of poor sleep and tiredness.

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