WEBXTRA: More studies link social media and depression

More studies link social media and depression

LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - For 21-year-old college student Jesus Avila social media depression is real.

"I feel like I need to measure up to some kind of standard that's like instagram-worthy," Avila said.

He's not the only one. Social media depression has become a difficult combination for some families and college students.

One deep east Texas counselor said there's been a recent rise linking the symptoms of depression to the usage of social media apps like Snapchat or Instagram.

"When I do hit my low points, it's kind of hard because it's not something you would post on social media and you see all these other people with their what seems to be amazing lives," Avila said.

New research studies define social media depression by referring to it as clinical depression.

"One of the concerns we're seeing is isolation," said Debra Burton, a licensed clinical professional.

Burton said symptoms of depression stem from intensity, pressure, and isolation from social media use---high among teens and young adults.

"One research study I saw that there's a definite increase and incidents of high levels of depression especially in 8th to 12th graders. It does seem to correlate to smart phone use," Burton said.

She said 92 percent of Americans own a smart phone and of that 72 percent have social media platforms.

While it's not recognized as a formal diagnosis among health care professionals,

there is more research that links social media use and clinical depression, especially among youth and young adults.

"The usage of screen time among children is about 5.5 hours, with teenagers and college students, you're at sometimes at 8.5 hours," Burton said.

Aviala said he plans to reduce screen time for a healthier lifestyle.

"I wake up check instagram and then get out of bed so I know that's a pretty bad habit that I will cut out of my life probably," Avila said.

Burton said parents need to be aware of the negative effects of social media on kids and consider regulating access.

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