A consultant neuropsychiatrist, Dr Maymunah Kadiri, has warned that abuse of social media and the internet could be detrimental to mental health.
Kadiri, who is the medical director of Pinnacle Medical Services Ltd., sounded the warning in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.
She said depression cannot be solved by surfing the internet as many people resort to social media and the internet whenever they are depressed.
According to her, excessive exposure to social media could psychologically affect an individual and could even lead to depression and emotional trauma.
“A lot of people resort to the internet whenever they are depressed, it is not the solution, people should rather seek physical help by consulting a counselor.
“People who seek help online may not get it, but what they do get are the negative things that have led many to suicide.
“The suicide rate in Nigeria is high due to abuse of social media; many things they watch on their cell phones are of no use to them.
“In our society, we thrive more on social interaction, which is now being destroyed by social media, many are now chatting online with their friends, instead of visiting them, it’s not helpful,” he said. she declared.
According to her, excessive exposure to social media is a risk factor for mental health problems, saying excessive use of social media can fuel anxiety, depression and other mental health problems.
Kadiri denounced the fact that many people had become addicted to phones and social networks, that they could not go a minute without picking them up to make calls or browse social networks.
She said people were spending too much time on social media, which to a large extent was affecting their mental health.
Kadiri, however, acknowledged social media as a good technological innovation, but that it had been used by many people to exaggerate their strengths and achievements, rather than their combined strengths and weaknesses.
“It has been observed that many are now chatting online, thinking they can suppress depression, this is not true as surveys had revealed that social media was not helpful.
“We have our own culture as black people to interact with ourselves and socialize. We visit each other and share our problems. We have a saying that “a problem shared is half solved”.
“Social media has almost taken our lives lately; it’s a distraction we need to avoid, some don’t even bother to come back, instead they chat with their friends online.
“We need to go back to our original culture of social interaction and community integration, which worked for us in the past, social media shouldn’t take that away from us,” she said.
The consultant neuropsychiatrist therefore called for a limitation and regulation of the use of social media.