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The Impact of Social Media on Mental Health and Addiction

In this age of instant connection, social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok have become an undeniable part of our daily lives. While they offer a space for connection and information sharing, their influence on mental health, particularly the potential to trigger or worsen addiction, deserves a closer look. 


Here at LA Valley Recovery, a leading provider of addiction treatment in Los Angeles, we understand the complex interplay between social media, mental health, and substance abuse.



A close up on a phone screen of social media apps
Social Media icons | Pexels

The Comparison Trap 

Social media feeds are often meticulously curated, filled with idyllic vacations, extravagant experiences, and flawless appearances. This constant bombardment of seemingly perfect lives can fuel feelings of inadequacy, envy, and low self-esteem.  

The problem lies in the inherent comparison trap that social media fosters. We're constantly bombarded with glimpses into other people's highlight reels, often comparing our own unfiltered reality to their meticulously crafted online personas. This social comparison can trigger a cascade of negative emotions:


  • Inadequacy: Seeing others achieve seemingly effortless success can make us feel inadequate about our own accomplishments. We may start questioning our own choices, skills, and overall worth.

  • Envy: Witnessing others' seemingly perfect vacations, relationships, or possessions can breed feelings of envy. This discontentment can focus on what we lack, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction.

  • Low Self-Esteem: The constant barrage of idealized images can chip away at our self-esteem. We may start to feel unattractive, unsuccessful, and unaccomplished compared to the seemingly flawless online personas.


For those vulnerable to addiction, substances like drugs and alcohol can become a quick fix to manage the negativity triggered by social media. The temporary escape or sense of euphoria these substances offer can mask deeper issues and lead to dependency.


A sad looking woman looking at your phone with red lights.
Woman on phone | Pexels

For those already struggling with addiction, social media can be a breeding ground for relapse. Seeing others seemingly enjoying themselves while drinking or out partying can help glamorize the acts and set off triggers or cravings.  Additionally, social media can be an easy way to stay in touch with friends that use, drug dealers, or other characters from your past.  While keeping social connections online is one of the best parts of it, it is also necessary to cut ties with some people from your past when you are working on bettering yourself for the future.  


Setting Boundaries for Mental Well-Being

Here are some helpful tips from The National Alliance on Mental Illness for protecting your mental health on social media: ​​


  • Limit your time on social media platforms. Some platforms, such as Apple and Google, have settings to help you do this automatically on your phone.

  • Consider what sites and profiles you visit; if they make you feel bad, unfollow them

  • Before you post something about yourself or someone else, consider if you would make this comment in an in-person setting

  • Remember that what you post will be very hard to take back or remove

  • Remember that what people post, or what you see, may not be honest or real presentations of their experiences or lives

  • Leave or unfollow a profile/page/site if it is making you feel worse

  • Report posts that are hurtful or making you worried


How Our Dual-Diagnosis Program Will Help You

Some people with mental illness develop it as a result of their compulsive drug use, and some may take drugs to alleviate their symptoms.  Regardless if you have anxiety or depression alongside substance abuse—they both need to receive treatment simultaneously.  There could be something else going on that has caused both conditions rather than one causing the other.


Our Los Angeles dual-diagnosis treatment program is designed to help patients overcome their addiction and cope with underlying issues. An essential element of our approach includes identifying these personal problems and developing a long-term plan for successful treatment and aftercare.


We treat several co-occurring mental disorders, including but not limited to: depression, anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, ADD/ADHD, and OCD.  Our clinical team will help identify and treat any undiagnosed mental illness so that all barriers to success in recovery are removed.  Through individualized therapy and group sessions, you can expect to urn how to manage both addiction and mental illness in a safe and 

judgment-free setting.


At LA Valley Recovery, we believe that keeping connections with family members and close friends is very important to the recovery process.  However, we do not allow for social media usage during your stay at our facility.  We provided a tranquil, peaceful, and inspiring environment to keep you on track and focused on your recovery.  Take a quick tour of our facility here.

We understand that you may be hesitant to call because of the unknown, but it’s important to, for your own mental health. We help every person who contacts us in finding the dual diagnosis program that fits their individual needs, whether that is our program or not!  We want everyone in this world living their best life possible so call LA Valley Recovery today.


844-777-5287





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