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GP identifies link between mental ill-health and use of social media

A GP claims to have discovered a link between mental ill-health in youngsters and their use of social media.

Doctor Rangan Chatterjee recalled one particular case in which a 16-year-old patient was referred to him after he had self-harmed, with the medical expert saying he unearthed a connection between the boy's use of social media and his general happiness levels.

He shared: "The first thought was to put him on anti-depressants, but I chatted to him and it sounded like his use of social media was having a negative impact on his health."

As a potential solution, Dr Chatterjee suggested that the boy should lower his use of social media websites, restricting himself to just one hour per day.

And then, over time, he recommended the boy increase his use to two hours at night and two in the morning.

Speaking to the BBC, Dr Chatterjee explained: "He reported a significant improvement in his wellbeing and, after six months, I had a letter from his mother saying he was happier at school and integrated into the local community."

Other similar cases have prompted medical experts around the world to question the impact social media is having on young people.

And Dr Chatterjee is in no doubt that it has become a big issue that needs to be dealt with.

He said: "Social media is having a negative impact on mental health.

"I do think it is a big problem and that we need some rules. How do we educate society to use technology so it helps us rather than harms us?"

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