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Abstaining from Facebook may help to live stress free life

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KATHMANDU — Days after the Facebook data scandal came out in the public, a group of researchers at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, has found out that quitting Facebook makes the user de-stressed.

The research, led by Prof. Eric Vanman, who is a senior lecturer at the university’s School of Psychology, stated that if you abstain from Facebook activity, stress hormone cortisol drops.

Data of millions of Facebook users was used to influence the choice of voters during the 2016 United States Presidential elections by Cambridge Analytica.

According to the results published in the Journal of Social Psychology, the cortisol level dropped among the members of the group which was asked not to use the Facebook app.

To study the impact of the app of the social networking giant, Prof. Vanman and his team formed two groups, comprising 138 study participants in total.

The researchers then took saliva samples from the participants and asked one of the groups to abstain from the Facebook activity for five days while told the other to continue using the app.

After five days, their samples were again taken.

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“Taking a Facebook break for just 5 days reduced a person’s level of the stress hormone cortisol,” Medical News Today quoted Prof. Vanman as saying.

Too much cortisol, which is known to soar when a person is stressed, can compromise immune system, impair memory and make us susceptible to obesity.

Their study also suggested that staying away from Facebook might also make you sadder – at least in the beginning.

“While participants in our study showed an improvement in physiological stress by giving up Facebook, they also reported lower feelings of well-being,” Prof. Vanman says.

Also the findings, according to the researchers, may apply to all social networks.

So if you are hooked to WhatsApp, Twitter, Instagram etc. abstaining from social media platforms might reduce your stress levels.

With Agency Inputs

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Suicide can’t be predicted by asking about suicidal thoughts : Study

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Most people who died of suicide deny they experience suicidal thoughts when asked by doctors in the weeks and months leading up to their death, a major Australian study has found.

The findings, co-authored by clinical psychiatrist and Professor Matthew Large from UNSW’s School of Psychiatry, Sydney that published in the journal BJPsych Open The meta-analysis challenge the widely-held assumption that psychiatrists can predict who will suicide by asking if they are preoccupied with thoughts of killing themselves.

The study showed that 80% of patients who were not undergoing psychiatric treatment and who died of suicide reported not to have suicidal thoughts when asked by their psychiatrist or GP.

“If you meet someone who has suicidal ideation there is a 98 per cent chance that they are not going to suicide,” said Professor Large, an international expert on suicide risk assessment who also works in the emergency department of a major Sydney hospital.

ALSO READ :  Pokhara Lekhnath Metropolis bans Facebook during office hours

“But what we didn’t know was how frequently people who go on to suicide have denied having suicidal thoughts when asked directly,” he added.

“This study proves we can no longer ration psychiatric care based on the presence of suicidal thoughts alone. We need to provide high-quality, patient-centred care for everyone experiencing mental illness, whether or not they reveal they are experiencing suicidal thoughts,” Professor Large said.

About one in 10 people will have suicidal ideation in their lifetime. But the study showed suicidal ideation alone was not rational grounds for deciding who gets treatment and who does not, Professor Large said.

“We know that suicide feeling is pretty common and that suicide is actually a rare event, even among people with severe mental illness,” Professor Large added.

Suicidal ideation tells us an awful lot about how a person is feeling, their psychological distress, sometimes their diagnosis and their need for treatment but it’s not a meaningful test of future behaviour.

Suicidal feelings can fluctuate rapidly and people may suicide very impulsively after only a short period of suicidal thoughts.

But, people had good reasons not to disclose thoughts of suicide, fearing stigma, triggering over-reactions or upsetting family and friends, and being involuntarily admitted for psychiatric treatment, Professor Large said.

Professor Large emphasized that clinicians should not assume that patients experiencing mental distress without reporting suicidal ideas were not at elevated risk of suicide.

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