Feeds

Twitter can trigger psychosis in users

140 characters or less leaves too much to symbolism, study finds

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Twitter can trigger psychosis in predisposed users, according to a team of doctors from the Universitätsmedizin hospital in Berlin.

A study Twitter Psychosis A Rare Variation or a Distinct Syndrome? concluded that Twitter may have "a high potential to induce psychosis in predisposed users" based on the case of a 31 year-old woman who developed the condition from spending too much time reading and writing in 140 characters or less.

The unnamed woman named "Mrs C" imagined non-existent connections between tweets sent from random users that she during the time of her psychosis considered to be hidden messages from a celebrity.

Mrs C then saw these connections in the real world and began to follow what she considered tasks set by a organisation, likely a sect, for her to complete.

"Sometimes, she would spend several hours a day reading and writing messages, neglecting her social relationships and, sometimes, even meals and regular sleeping hours," the five doctors wrote in the paper.

"She finally felt increasingly desperate because she could not fulfill all of the tasks, became increasingly afraid of what would happen to her if she did not, and finally, developed intense suicidal thoughts."

The state of psychosis, defined as a state of mind in which conscious reality is distorted or lost, was aggregated by her highly specialised university studies and employment and relationship failures.

Mrs C did not have a history of psychosis in her family history and her occasional marijuana use was found to have not contributed to the condition.

Rather it could be, the authors suggested, that the ambiguity caused by abrupt tweets could itself trigger psychosis in predisposed users.

"The authors believe that the amount of symbolic language (caused by the limitation of 140 characters per Twitter message), the automated spam responses with seemingly related content, and the general interactive features of Twitter might combine several aspects that could induce or further aggravate psychosis," they wrote.

Twitter was one of many technology platform to cause mental health problems in users, often referred to internet addiction, internet gaming disorder or problematic internet use. English Professor Ryan van Cleave said in 2011 that addiction to World of Warcraft nearly cost him his job and family.

McLean Hospital psychologist Dr. Maressa Hecht-Orzack in the same year estimated that 40 percent of the game's players were addicted.®

Australian readers seeking support and information about suicide can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
SCREW YOU, Russia! NASA lobs $6.8bn at Boeing AND SpaceX to run space station taxis
Musk charging nearly half as much as Boeing for crew trips
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.