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Social networking sites cause ‘psychotic episodes’ in patients, finds study

Social networking sites cause ‘psychotic episodes’

If you find yourself logging into social networking sites like Facebook for long hours and/or often, here’s a little piece of information.


A new research coming straight from Tel Aviv University says that psychotic episodes in patients are as a result of Internet addiction and delusions coming out of the virtual relationships that users develop on these sites, Daily Mail reports.


As part of the study, the lead researcher at the university’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine and the Shalvata Mental Health Care Centre keenly studied three of his patients. Worryingly, the study led the researcher to find a “direct link between psychotic episodes and their Internet or Facebook communications”. The research found that the patients looked at virtual relationships as an escape from their loneliness. As for these relationships, the study found that while they were “positive” at first, they went on to exude negative feelings of hurt, betrayal and invasion of privacy.

Internet turns U.N. telecoms talks into reality show

Causing them to be delusional? (Image credit: Getty Images)



The report quoted him as saying, “The patients shared some crucial characteristics, including loneliness or vulnerability due to the loss of or separation from a loved one, relative inexperience with technology, and no prior history of psychosis or substance abuse. In each case, a connection was found between the gradual development and exacerbation of psychotic symptoms, including delusions, anxiety, confusion, and intensified use of computer communications. The good news is that all of the patients, who willingly sought out treatment on their own, were able to make a full recovery with proper treatment and care.”


He added further, “All of the patients developed psychotic symptoms related to the situation, including delusions regarding the person behind the screen and their connection through the computer.”


Two of the patients being observed reportedly found themselves vulnerable after sharing their private details online. One even experienced “tactile hallucinations”, believing that she was being physically touched by the person on the other side of the screen. “Some of the problematic features of the internet relate to issues of geographical and spatial distortion, the absence of non-verbal cues, and the tendency to idealise the person with whom someone is communicating, becoming intimate without ever meeting face-to-face,” he added.


Dr Nitzan stressed that it was important that mental health professionals considered the influence of Internet when interacting with their patients.


The study, while not leaving out the benefits of social networking sites, noted that some patients “are harmed by these social networking sites”. These, he said, caught the attention of those lonely or vulnerable.


All of these factors can contribute to a patient’s break with reality, and the development of a psychotic state,” it added.






  1. Could it be normal to possess delusions and false values to some extent?

    Typically, I’d say I am a relatively normal person although I actually do have anxiety and depression. Recently I’ve been very worried about my mental health. I have been searching for each one of these personality and mental disorders to see if their signs and symptoms affect me. I have observed which i appear to become somewhat paranoid and reading through about delusions makes me question basically ask them to sometimes.

    Certainly one of my earliest reminiscences of the delusion happens when I had been most likely around 3 or 4 and that i was traveling in the back burner of my parent’s vehicle, with every of then before me. Using their backs towards me, I sitting and wondered “Let’s say mother and father are monsters and what they’re putting on are simply costumes?” thinking they might really were mean people. But from things i remember, it had been merely a quick thought and that i did not still honestly think that.

    After I involved six or seven I recall thinking which i would visit jail since i saw people making love around the T.V. when my parents weren’t aware. I concerned about this for several weeks.

    In 4th grade, I figured my teacher (who had been my first male teacher) thought which i were built with a crush on him. Where this concept originated from, I’ve no clue however i thought everything through the school year.

    Now, It’s my job to believe that others I encounter hate me and have something against me. Truly possess some kind of reasoning behind it, even when it might be somewhat small. Like dirty looks they provide me or small remarks.

    I’m just wondering or no of the is common? It does not affect my existence or anything. However I just don’t would like it to possibly worsen later on or something like that.

  2. What is it when someone really REALLY believes something happened when it in fact did not and it was just in their head? They’re delusional only sometimes?

    Is this Borderline Personality Disorder?
    Can you have a combination of those two?
    What disorders would cause delusions?
    Please Please go into detail, I’m trying to figure out what’s wrong with me
    I have a psychiatrist and a therapist and they haven’t figured it out yet.

    I think things have happened to me… but in reality they haven’t.

    Please answer seriously
    I really appreciate it.

  3. I understand paranoia is really a altered view that you simply can’t trust nobody but what’s the distinction between a delusion?

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