Available for Interviews: Dr. Pete Loper
Dr. Pete Loper, MD, MSEd, FAAP, is a triple board-certified physician in pediatrics, psychiatry, and child psychiatry. He is also a professor and executive coach and is dedicated to mental health and wellness advocacy.
What Dr. Loper could say on
82% of the US population currently uses social media. However, as a psychiatrist, I have observed first-hand the negative impact of excessive social media use on my patients’ mental health and well-being. I have published my observations on this topic in Medscape and Current Psychiatry (please see links below). These are the talking points that I have found most effective when educating my patients, regardless of age, about the necessity of taking a “social media break”:
Excess Social Media Use Dangers
- Excess social media use is associated with anxiety and depression, poor sleep, declining school or work performance, negative self-beliefs, poor self-esteem, and problems regulating emotions.
- Excess social media use can promote narcissistic tendencies.
- Excess social media use can cause a social media addiction. Excess social media use can cause a “dopamine deficit state.”
- Just like drugs or alcohol, when you use social media, your brain releases dopamine, a chemical associated with pleasure and reward.
- Just like other addictive substances, the more you use social media, the more social media you need to use to get the same pleasure or reward.
- Excess social media use has been associated with an increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors, especially in children and young adults.
- Excess use of social media is associated with loneliness and social isolation. Natural, unprocessed, nutritious food is a fundamental human need for health and well-being, as are real, face-to-face, interpersonal interactions.
- Just like overconsumption of fast food promotes obesity, excess social media use promotes loneliness and isolation by limiting real-time, face-to-face, interpersonal interaction.
Taking a social media break can improve mental health by restoring time spent in real-time interpersonal interactions. Relating to others in a meaningful way can improve your mood, decrease your anxiety, and can immediately impact your self-esteem by removing you from the unrealistic standards of socially-prescribed perfectionism that predominate contrived constructs of your various social media platforms.
Interview: Dr. Pete Loper
Dr. Pete Loper began his undergraduate studies in English at Kenyon College before completing his premedical coursework and Bachelor of Arts at the University of South Carolina (U of SC). He earned his Doctor of Medicine from the University of South Carolina School of Medicine and his Master of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania. Following medical school, Dr. Loper completed a residency in pediatrics. He then worked as a pediatrician in a private practice setting while completing a second residency in psychiatry and a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry. He has also completed the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Psychoanalytic Fellowship Program and the Teleos Leadership Institute’s Coach Development Program.
Dr. Loper has been featured in numerous academic publications and media outlets, and it is through these channels that he can dedicate his time to being an advocate for mental health and wellness.
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