Adolescent holiday depression- FoMO- Fear of Missing Out - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Adolescent holiday depression- FoMO- Fear of Missing Out

Teens are suffering from holiday FoMO.  (Source: MGN Online) Teens are suffering from holiday FoMO. (Source: MGN Online)
On the surface people would say joy, happiness, and cheer are the feelings produced during the holiday season but that's not all that's felt this time of year.

As it happens, tis the season to compare- and we aren't talking gifts.

Doctors say that tweens and teens are feeling overly anxious about what they are not doing, a condition so prevalent is now called "Fear of Missing Out" (FoMO).

To understand what FoMO really is, imagine the typical holiday depression on steroids.

Doctors say that one of the contributing factors is young people's habit of a taking a large daily dose of social media and placing too much emphasis on their interactions. 

Carolyn Ievers-Landis, PhD, a child psychologist at UH Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital offers insight into FoMO as well as tips.

"I do feel like the 'Fear of Missing Out' can be particularly difficult around the holidays," says Carolyn Ievers-Landis, PhD, a child psychologist at University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital. "I think that extends to what kids are getting for Christmas, if your friend gets the latest shoes or they have the latest electronics and you don't."

FoMO is a form of social anxiety where people are compulsively concerned missing a party, event, interaction, or experience.  

"People who might have (compared themselves) in the regular world without social media can now do it more and more so it can have more of a cumulative effect to harm their mood," says Dr. Ievers-Landis

Dr. Ievers-Landis says depression is a real and serious consequence of FoMO with 'tween and teens are most vulnerable to the dangers of Downward Social Comparison: always thinking people are doing more interesting things than you. "If people are constantly comparing themselves to other people and constantly hooked-in to see what they're doing compared to other people, it can really affect your mood."

5 Tips to Avoid FoMO

1) Enjoy the Moment (Mindfulness)

2) Limit Social Media

3) Be Grateful

4) Keep Busy

5) Embrace Occasional Solitude (Joy of Missing Out or JoMO)

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