Facebook and other social networking sites may affect your mental health by causing psychotic episodes and delusions, researchers warn.
As Internet access becomes increasingly widespread, so do related psychopathologies such as Internet addiction and delusions related to the technology and to virtual relationships, according to the study.
Computer communications such as Facebook and chat groups are an important part of this story, said Dr Uri Nitzan of Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Center.
According to 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, Nitzan said.