It turns out our obsession with social media is literally making us sick—which explains everything. Young women (ages 16 to 24) are at the highest risk: more than a quarter (26%) experience symptoms of mental health problems like anxiety and depression, according to a new report from the UK's National Health Service (NHS) published in Telegraph. Researchers said "selfie culture" and social media are largely to blame.
The percentage of young women with mental health issues was up from 21% when the study was last done in 2007.
Young women were the group at the highest risk; they were nearly three times as likely as men of the same age group (9%) to report symptoms of mental health problems. Experts said a lot of the anxiety among young women seemed related to social media—specifically, body image pressure, cyber-bullying, perfectionism, and insecurities from comparing their lives to other people's online.
“On social media, they are seeing these edited versions of lives, bikinis, beaches, not seeing the reality," said Lauren Chakkalackal, senior research officer at the Mental Health Foundation.
Health officials said they were especially worried about the 16-24 age group, because they were the first to grow up with social media.