Study Says Facetime and Skype Can Curb Depression in Elderly

Digital life has many drawbacks. A recent survey found that young people are plagued by loneliness, a fact that many blame addiction to social networks. It has been discovered that "phubbing", the act of ignoring someone while browsing your phone, has devastating effects on your interpersonal relationships. And some recent research has found that online dating does not work wonders with our mental health, as it causes body dissatisfaction, body shame, body surveillance, internalization of social expectations of beauty, physically comparing ourselves with others and relying on the media. . Information about appearance and attractiveness.

There is, however, at least one benefit to recent advances in technology. According to a new study published in American Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry the use of video chat features such as Skype and FaceTime significantly reduces the estimated likelihood of depressive symptoms in the elderly.

Researchers compared the effects of four different types of online communication technologies (video chat, email, social networks and instant messaging) for people aged 60 and over through the Health and Retirement Study supported by the Institute National Aging Institute of the National Institutes of Health, which has been monitoring the well – older people every two years since 1992.

After the researchers analyzed the responses of 1,424 participants, they found that those who used video chat were half more likely to suffer from depression as those who relied on e-mail, instant messaging, or social networking platforms such as Facebook.

"Video chat came out as the undisputed champion", Alan Teo, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Oregon Health and Science University and the study's lead author, said. "Older adults who used video chat technology such as Skype had a significantly lower risk of depression."

It is not hard to see why this might be the case. Sending someone an email or a text message or communicating through FB messenger is convenient, especially if both are busy and their schedules do not align. But if you're away from family or friends, and you feel a little lonely, seeing facial expressions and hearing the voice of a loved one can do a lot to cure the blues. Outside of buying a plane ticket, it is as close as you can get to reality.

"I still maintain that face-to-face interaction is probably best of all," said Teo. "However, if we look at the reality of modern American life, we should consider these communication technologies, and when we consider and compare them, our findings indicate that it is better to do Skyping with my father in Indiana than to send a message to WhatsApp." .

While the results may not be entirely surprising, as far as Teo knows, "this is the first study to demonstrate a potential link between the use of video chat and the prevention of clinically significant symptoms of depression during the last two years in older adults. "

So, if you're still not sure how to use FaceTime, now can be a good time to learn.

After all, loneliness is a disease, and some studies have found that it can have the same effect on mortality as smoking 15 cigarettes a day. Humans are social animals, and maintaining good bonds is fundamental to our emotional and physical health.

If you are under 60, you can consider calling grandma or grandpa through video chat. In addition to making your day, you could very well be adding years to your lives. And to learn more about how to age well, read about why being surrounded by a strong network of friends and family can help you prolong your life.

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The post New study says that FaceTime can help older people fight depression first appeared in Best Life.

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