Three Key Ways Social Media Can Lower Self-Esteem, Cause Depression

Social media use is not always healthy. During the early months of recovery and addiction treatment, it is best to leave social media to itself while you focus on healing.

Comparing Your Insides To Others Outsides

It’s always newsworthy and deemed revolutionary when someone posts something real to social media. Something about the bad day they are having, the amount of hours it takes to create the perfect shot, the “reality” of their lives behind their carefully curated social media profiles. What we often see on our newsfeeds are just small chosen moments to depict the best of the best rather than the realest of the real. Spiritually, we are reminded to consider what is behind every person’s smile. It isn’t always happiness. We aren’t aware of what happens beyond a photo, in real life. When we start to make assumptions and judgments, we set ourselves up into a trap of false beliefs- not just about someone else’s life, but about our own. Comparing what we see in other people’s “outside” to what we see within ourselves and how we feel about our own lives can lower our sense of self-esteem and cause feelings of depression.

Scrolling And Posting For Dopamine

Dopamine is that tricky neurotransmitter which communicates pleasure to key areas of the brain like the reward center. Numerous brain imaging studies have found that various components of interacting with social media cause a spike in the production of dopamine. For example, scrolling through the news feed of any social media platform can cause dopamine production which mimics stimulation from cocaine. Getting a “like” or a “comment” on something we post gives us another big boost of dopamine, as well as a boost of ego. There is more to the psychology of social media than meets the eye. Some studies have even suggested that the impulsive need to check social media devices is causing dopamine production as well. Before you even start to scroll, your brain is happier. Thus, once you put it down and have to go another set of hours without social media, your brain lacks in dopamine production, which can simulate feelings of depression.

Other Negative Influences

Social media is a breeding ground for lies, judgments, bullying, and false realities. Fake news, political arguments, and offensive comments can be common. Social media is a public landscape meaning very little is private. Instead of having healthy, regulated conversations in real life with people, everyone has the opportunity to hide behind their keyboards. Losing out on human interaction, people can begin to feel isolated and alone.

Recovery is an opportunity to redefine every area of your life from mental health to substance abuse. Enlightened solutions wants to show you how. Our unique program blends proven areas of treatment together to create a meaningful, holistic partial care program. Recovery starts with you. Start your recovery with us. Call 833-801-5483 for more information.


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Understanding Addiction in the Brain: Pleasure

Addiction is a deeply misunderstood occurrence in the mind. Societal norms and cultural standards sadly contribute to the prevalence of stigma and shame surrounding addiction. Until recent years, addiction has been viewed through a lens of immorality. Addicts are people who have lost their way due to the consequence of their own choices. Partially, this is true. However, the progression and development of addiction in the brain is largely the consequence of neurobiology. Understanding how addiction works in the brain through the scope of neuroscience can help us to put aside our manufactured beliefs and open our hearts. Addiction is, if nothing else, and experience of suffering. Though largely based in pleasure, addiction is a carousel ride of up’s and down’s, that never stops spinning.

It starts with a substance. Drugs are chemicals that interact and interfere with the brain’s normal functions, which is largely run on certain chemicals. Specifically, the brain works off of neurons and neurotransmitters, as well as receptors and synapses. Drugs create chemical reactions in the brain that stimulate the production of certain neurotransmitters, block receptors, and change what is communicated between synapses. Primarily, it is the message of pleasure that throws the system off balance.

Pleasure and Addiction in the Brain

Pleasure is the primary purpose of the neurotransmitter dopamine. Dopamine lives in the reward center of the brain. The reward center is a small circuit that communicates what feels good, motivation,  to the rest of the brain. When drugs in the bloodstream reach the brain, they produce a copious amount of dopamine, overwhelming the reward center. Too much dopamine creates a mega-pleasure: euphoria. Euphoria feels extremely good to the brain, motivating it to feel euphoria again and again. Associating the action of taking drugs with euphoric sensations, the brain records this event for future reference. Each time the brain finds itself needing to be motivated, it is going to think about drugs.

This is where the ride stops being fun. Pleasure from drugs only lasts so long. The brain quickly develops tolerance. It needs more of the drug to feel as euphoric as it did before. More drugs creates more memories of euphoria. As the brain learns to associate euphoria and motivation, it becomes the only motivation. Eventually, the drugs hardly work, but the brain is convinced of their necessity. Trapped in a cycle of demand, the body fails to sustain the brain’s demands, resulting in symptoms of withdrawal.

 

Enlightened Solutions understands the struggle in breaking free from the endless cycle of suffering in drug addiction and alcoholism. We offer a program rooted in twelve step philosophy and holistic healing as a solution for mind, body, and spirit.

For more information please call us today at 833-801-5483.