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Our Mental Health in a Digital World

The rise of digital technologies around the world has opened up new opportunities for communication and access to information, but raises concerns about its impact on our psychological well-being. Over the last few decades, mental health problems have taken on a worrying dimension worldwide. Indeed, mental health is one of the fundamental aspects of our overall well-being. It covers our emotional, psychological and social health, and plays an essential role in the way we perceive, feel and act in our daily lives. Millions of people are affected by disorders and many other conditions that can affect their quality of life. Yet, despite its vital importance, mental health is often neglected and underestimated. Faced with the growing scale of mental health problems, it's essential to ask: behind the veil of seeming emotional well-being lie disturbing realities and difficulties that often go unrecognized ?

Today, the digital world and its technological advances are having a major impact on our mental health. Overconsumption of social media has become a worrying problem. Constant exposure to idealized images and social comparisons on social media platforms can sometimes lead to heightened social anxiety and low self-esteem. In addition, constant comparison with others can lead to feelings of unhappiness. Excessive use of digital devices can lead to a decrease in face-to-face social interaction, contributing to isolation and a decline in emotional well-being.

We can also see that digital technologies have opened up new avenues for cyberbullying, which happens mainly online. Victims of cyberbullying can experience anxiety, depression and emotional distress. Social networks, online forums and online gaming platforms can be places where cyberbullying thrives.

According to a survey conducted by Empreinte Humaine on the company Tech Data Solutions (October 2022): 49% of staff were in psychological distress in October and 18% were in high distress in December. The latter concerns 58% of distressed managers. For 35% of employees, fatigue reaches emotional exhaustion, generating work stoppages due to anxiety. This anxiety is heightened by a climate in which competition between colleagues makes itself felt, to which can be added to the demands of customers through increased aggressiveness, and so on. Diving into the depths of mental health, we discover a darker picture, marked by prevalent psychological disorders, persistent stigmatization and inadequate access to necessary care.

In our modern world, the pressures, uncertainties and prejudices we have towards certain people, which may be based on characteristics such as race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation and socio-economic status, weigh heavily on our emotional well-being. Also, the increase in stress linked to professional and personal demands, as well as the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, emphasize the need to grant special attention to our mental health.

So, we ask a specialist, Dr. Jean Martin, Clinical Psychiatrist, the following question: is it urgent that we care about our mental health? He replies: "As a healthcare professional, I know it's crucial to care about our mental health, because it's just as important as our physical health. Mental health is an essential aspect in a digital world where pressures are increasingly frequent, it's absolutely vital to care about our mental health to preserve our psychological and emotional balance for a fulfilling and productive life."

Toovi Joas Arnaud



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