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Life’s big milestones ‘negatively impact mental health’

Social media is to blame, suggests Bupa poll

Having a baby, getting married and buying a house have been voted the most significant milestones in a person’s life, but they often leave people feeling vulnerable and stressed, research shows.

The survey from Bupa UK Health Clinics revealed that 86% agreed that society puts too much pressure on achieving life’s milestones.

Social media plays a pivotal role in this, with 58% agreeing that it creates an expectation of what life’s key moments should look like.

According to the research, Brits admit to feeling upset or down after comparing their experience of a milestone to someone else’s on social media.

For example, 85% said they felt this way when returning to work after having a baby; 70% said it happened when starting their first job; and 64% said they felt low after getting a promotion and seeing others celebrating their own promotions on social platforms.

Buying a house (55%), retiring (53%) and taking a big holiday (43%) were the next significant moments which left the nation feeling flat once they compared themselves to what others were doing on social media.

Dr Arun Thiyagarajan, Bupa UK Health Clinics’ medical director, said it can be easy to forget that what we see on social media is just a snapshot of a moment in time and can sometimes leave people feeling depressed and inadequate when their experiences don’t match up.

“It’s important to understand that taking care of both physical and mental wellbeing before, during and after a big life event, is vital to enjoying the moment itself,” he added.

According to the study, one in 10 people in the UK have felt unhappy about an event or significant moment in life because of social media.