Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Find out How Patients Use Social Media Platforms

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Find out How Patients Use Social Media Platforms

Article excerpt

AT THE AACAP ANNUAL MEETING

ORLANDO--Half of the teens who made comments on social media about their feelings and caused concern among those who saw the comments were brought to the hospital for assessment, according to a small survey of adolescents admitted to the child and adolescent psychiatry unit of Ohio State University Harding Hospital, Columbus.

Tragic suicides or homicides after social media use have gained national attention in recent years, but studies like this highlight the flip side of social media platforms: They can make it easier to find out when teens are in distress and help them access timely treatment and support.

The fact that these teens turned to social media to express emotional stress, "shows that [they] are having trouble conveying emotions to parents, counselors, or friends, so they're finding a different avenue," said Dr. Sathyan Gurumurthy, who presented the unpublished study at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. "So, we have to gain a better understanding of how they convey emotions."

And given the generalized use of social media today, it is important for clinicians to ask children and adolescents about social media use during initial assessment, advised Dr. Gurumurthy, a resident physician at OSU's Wexner Medical Center. "Talk to them about social media: how they use it and what sites they're using," he said in an interview.

The results of the yearlong study are based on the 6-month data from an eight-question survey. …

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