Navigation Links
Is Facebook a factor in psychotic symptoms?
Date:11/20/2012

As Internet access becomes increasingly widespread, so do related psychopathologies such as Internet addiction and delusions related to the technology and to virtual relationships. Computer communications such as Facebook and chat groups are an important part of this story, says Dr. Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center in a new paper published in the Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences.

In his study, the researcher presented three in-depth case studies linking psychotic episodes to Internet communications from his own practice. According to Dr. Nitzan, patients shared some crucial characteristics, including loneliness or vulnerability due to the loss of or separation from a loved one, relative inexperience with technology, and no prior history of psychosis or substance abuse. In each case, a connection was found between the gradual development and exacerbation of psychotic symptoms, including delusions, anxiety, confusion, and intensified use of computer communications.

The good news is that all of the patients, who willingly sought out treatment on their own, were able to make a full recovery with proper treatment and care, Dr. Nitzan says.

Behind the screen

The Internet is a free and liberal space that many individuals use on a daily basis and a growing part of a normal social life. But while technologies such as Facebook have numerous advantages, some patients are harmed by these social networking sites, which can attract those who are lonely or vulnerable in their day-to-day lives or act as a platform for cyber-bullying and other predatory behavior.

All three of Dr. Nitzan's patients sought refuge from a lonely situation and found solace in intense virtual relationships. Although these relationships were positive at first, they eventually led to feelings of hurt, betrayal, and invasion of privacy, reports Dr. Nitzan. "All of the patients developed psychotic symptoms related to the situation, including delusions regarding the person behind the screen and their connection through the computer," he says. Two patients began to feel vulnerable as a result of sharing private information, and one even experienced tactile hallucinations, believing that the person beyond the screen was physically touching her.

Some of the problematic features of the Internet relate to issues of geographical and spatial distortion, the absence of non-verbal cues, and the tendency to idealize the person with whom someone is communicating, becoming intimate without ever meeting face-to-face. All of these factors can contribute to a patient's break with reality, and the development of a psychotic state.

A changing social landscape

Dr. Nitzan and his colleagues plan to do more in-depth research on Facebook, studying the features and applications that have the potential to harm patients emotionally or permit patients to cause emotional harm to others. Some psychotic patients use the Internet to disturb people, abusing their ability to interact anonymously, he says.

Because social media are now such an important part of our culture, mental health professionals should not overlook their influence when speaking to patients, Dr. Nitzan counsels. "When you ask somebody about their social life, it's very sensible to ask about Facebook and social networking habits, as well as Internet use. How people conduct themselves on the Internet is quite important to psychiatrists, who shouldn't ignore this dimension of their patients' behavior patterns."


'/>"/>
Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Could Facebook Be Making You Fat?
2. Analyzing the Facebook Effect on organ and tissue donation
3. New Facebook app to detect pedophiles and criminals developed by Ben-Gurion U. researchers
4. Facebook Piano Contest Goes International and Viral
5. Who Has the Most Sway on Facebook?
6. More Families Seek Kidney Donations on Facebook
7. Genetic factor holds key to blood vessel health
8. A new factor of genetic susceptibility to Alzheimers disease
9. Early Menstruation Tied to Factors That Raise Heart Disease Risk
10. Social environmental factors affect rehospitalization risk in home healthcare patients
11. Many U.S. Hispanics Have Heart Disease Risk Factors
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:9/20/2017)... Houston, Texas (PRWEB) , ... September 20, 2017 ... ... leader in the Orthodontics and Clear Aligner clinical and commercial support services market) ... School of Dentistry (PGSD) in Sydney, Australia. , The PGSD is the ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... In just a short time since going ... receiving positive feedback from customers trying the product for the first time, and others ... was developed by neurosurgeon Shawn Moore, MD, for everyone from athletes at risk from ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... ... Americans at risk of price gouging for their prescription drugs, according to a ... “Because Medicare isn’t negotiating on our behalf, there’s no consistency in drug pricing ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... , ... “RECYCLED Ezekiel's Plan for Freedom from ADDICTION”: A ... is the creation of published author, Bill Miller. Bill Miller has a ... more than a decade of addiction to prescription drugs. He has a ...
(Date:9/20/2017)... ... September 20, 2017 , ... “Psalms of Humidity”: is a fascinating depiction of ... the readers one step closer to God. “Psalms of Humidity” is the creation of ... have been made within his life are the very same things that have shaped ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:9/6/2017)... 6, 2017  Medical professionals are expected ... while treating their patients. Medical simulations offer ... involving patients. Simulation provides a safe method ... out procedures, refine techniques and build confidence, ... new technology, such as augmented reality, will ...
(Date:9/6/2017)... , Sept. 6, 2017 Eli Lilly ... it will present new data for galcanezumab and lasmiditan, ... of the International Headache Society (IHC) taking place Sept. ... Lilly will highlight new, long-term data from an ... doses of galcanezumab (120 mg and 240 mg) for ...
(Date:9/5/2017)... , Sept. 5, 2017  Getinge, a ... created a vibrant charitable donation program -- "Color ... support congenital heart defect research by The Children,s ... and the general public are encouraged to download ... submit the completed artwork to the gallery on ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: