Rise in teen sui­cide, so­cial me­dia co­in­cide. Is there link?

Dayton Daily News - - FROM PAGE ONE - By Lind­sey Tan­ner

An in­crease in CHICAGO — sui­cide rates among U.S. teens oc­curred at the same time so­cial me­dia use surged and a new anal­y­sis sug­gests there may be a link.

Sui­cide rates for teens rose be­tween 2010 and 2015 after they had de­clined for nearly two decades, ac­cord­ing to data from the fed­eral Cen­ters for Dis­ease Con­trol and Preven­tion. Why the rates went up isn’t known.

The study doesn’t an­swer the ques­tion, but it sug­gests that one fac­tor could be ris­ing so­cial me­dia use. Re­cent teen sui­cides have been blamed on cy­ber­bul­ly­ing, and so­cial me­dia posts de­pict­ing “per­fect” lives may be tak­ing a toll on teens’ men- tal health, re­searchers say.

“After hours of scrolling through In­sta­gram feeds, I just feel worse about my­self be­cause I feel left out,” said Caitlin Hearty, a 17-year-old Lit­tle­ton, Colorado, high school se­nior who helped or­ga­nize an off­line cam­paign last month after sev­eral lo­cal teen sui­cides.

“No one posts the bad things they’re go­ing through,” said Chloe Schilling, also 17, who helped with the cam­paign, in which hun­dreds of teens agreed not to use the in­ter­net or so­cial me­dia for one month.

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