Now forcibly hospitalized for purported bipolar disorder, the starlet chronicled her inner thoughts on Twitter, including "the microchip in her head,” her father sexually abusing her (which she later recanted) and her desperate 'need' for plastic surgery." Now, a mental health professional is suggesting that engaging in social media can worsen major mental illnesses.
"It would be wise to determine whether such sites are especially hazardous to those with conditions like bipolar disorder who vent while impaired, receive unfiltered feedback (whether critical or encouraging more such venting) and then become either more grandiose or irritable (while manic), more despondent (while depressed) or more paranoid (while suffering with a condition like schizophrenia or schizoaffective disorder," writes Dr. Keith Ablow.
Social media's alleged aggravation of mental illness - or at least its propensity for converting scattered thoughts into violent action - has been evident beyond the case study of Amanda Bynes. Instances such as Elliot Rodger's murderous rampage and Derek Medina's slaughter of his wife all display evidence of eruption due to social media.
"The question of whether social media can worsen major mental illnesses in those afflicted might also be relevant to those cases of suicide and homicide in which social media played a role. These cases include that of Elliott Rodger, the Santa Barbara killer who posted his narcissistic and paranoid thoughts on YouTube, teenager Adrian Alvaresz who recently took his life after posting his intentions on Facebook, as well as Derek Medina who allegedly shot his wife to death and posted a photo of her corpse on Facebook earlier this year," Dr. Ablow said.
The author contends that social media is the most dangerously addictive drug produced by our generation, and that it is specifically harmful toward the mentally ill. But I find that social media is only a vehicle that displays symptoms which would have exploded sooner or later - social media just provides a platform that makes mental illness harder to conceal.
However, the interactions people had with Amanda Bynes were detrimental to her mental health. I had friends who retweeted her profanity-ridden, vulgar diatribes as if it was all just an infinite jest. This is definitely an irresponsible use of social media; in a way, this gives Bynes and other victims the audience and applause to continue trumpeting their mental illness at their own expense rather than seeking help. Though social media shouldn't be barred to the mentally ill, people should take responsibility for their interactions with them.