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From thousands of miles away, you may have witnessed the conflict in Ukraine through a screen. The images of destruction and the people who are trapped in shelters are disturbing and tragic. The conflict in Ukraine has been referred to as a social media war, and it has been broadcast live on various platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and TikTok.

The spread of violent images and videos has been going on like wildfire, the most recent of these being from the devastating fresh air strikes hitting cities throughout Ukraine on October 10, such as Kyiv, Zaporizhzhia, Kharkiv, and Lviv. These types of videos and images can have a huge psychological impact. Although the recent conflicts in Syria, Iraq, and other countries have caused a lot of concern for people’s mental health, the invasion of Ukraine is also a potential trauma that can have long-term effects on one’s mental health.

War’s Effect on Mental Health

Those who consume violent content through social media are at risk of experiencing mental health issues. The prevalence of war can have a negative impact on the mental health of civilians. According to the WHO, around 10 percent of individuals who experience traumatic events will develop serious mental health problems. Another 10 percent will develop behavior problems that can prevent them from functioning properly.

Being exposed to traumatic events can have a negative impact on the mental health of soldiers. It can lead to higher medical complications, substance abuse, and dysfunction in families. However, other groups, such as civilians, can also develop the same psychological profile.

Civilians, as well as those who consume violent content through social media, can develop a sense of hopelessness and mistrust when faced with a conflict. Excessive use of social media and overexposure to traumatic content can also negatively affect one’s mental health. Mental health professionals suggest implementing healthy boundaries to prevent excessive use of these platforms.

While social media is a great platform for raising awareness, it can sometimes heighten anxiety. Instead of scrolling through endless content, try to find something that doesn’t leave you feeling stressed out. Although the war in Ukraine is still ongoing, it can still help boost your mental health by supporting the efforts of those in the country.

There are various ways to support those in Ukraine. Doing so can help alleviate the stress and anxiety that people are experiencing. It can also allow you to help them find the support they need without sacrificing your own mental health.