Is social media causing depression in teens? Video

Transcript for Is social media causing depression in teens?

We turn to our cover story taking a closer look at the risks of social media and how necessary perfect-looking pictures could fuel or hide anxiety and depression in young adults and Paula Faris with the story of one teen who seemed to have it all but was fighting a secret battle. Reporter: Maddie was the all-American girl. A college athlete with brains and beauty. Her Instagram feed is the perfectcollege experience feed and then if you even go back, it’s the perfect summer before college. Reporter: But what her social media did not show was her intense battle with depression that ultimately led to her death by suicide at just 19 years old. If you look through her Instagram account, there are really no red flags as to her struggles. It’s hard to consume her Instagram feed because you do know the end of her specific story and they don’t add up. Reporter: In a new book “What made Maddy run” ESPN columnist Kate Fagan explores her life whose battle with depression she believes was worsened by social media. So many youth right now are presenting perfection when in reality there’s a much different picture going on. Madison knew that her Instagram feed was a false reflection but he couldn’t see that her peers were also reflecting something that maybe wasn’t totally real. Reporter: Experts say while many students are posting highlight reels of the perfect college experience, they’re also hiding their struggles, anxiety and depression. Researchers at Stanford university call this the duck syndrome. Referring to the way a duck appears to glide effortlessly across the water. While underwater its feet work frantically to stay afloat. It’s really about maintaining a healthy perspective working hart but also recognizing that you don’t have to be perfect to be happy. Reporter: With more college students diagnosed with depression and 75% of mental health conditions beginning before the age of 24, college has become such a critical time for today’s youth. There’s so much pressure to be at all of the parties, to look like you’re having the best time of your life. Reporter: Larissa may said she felt it as a student at Vanderbilt. My sophomore year I struggled with anxiety and depression and social media was definitely a trigger for that because I was always looking at everyone else’s and, you know, trying to understand why were they so happy and why was I not? Reporter: But in her senior year she fought back…

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