Saturday 10 December 2016

Drunken tweets lead to rise in 'shame therapy'

Published 24/03/2016 | 02:30

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Social media users are again being warned not to drink and tweet - unless they want to undergo 'shame therapy.'

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The warning comes from Irish counsellors and psychotherapists who say they are seeing a rise in Twitter users suffering mental health problems after being plagued with regret about drunken posts.

Being drunk in charge of a computer is a modern-day danger and can lead to years of anguished remorse.

"We would advise internet users to avoid social media altogether when they are in an emotional state," said Shane Kelly, spokesman for the Irish Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, which has 4,000 members.

"This could involve alcohol or it could simply be they were in bad form or overworked and overstressed."

He pointed out: "You would not shout or make disparaging remarks to random strangers in real life. So if you apply the same approach online as you do offline, then you will avoid experiencing digital shame."

The pitfalls of the social media platform mean that even if someone has few followers, the offending comment can be retweeted to hundreds of thousands causing a new mortifying form of "morning after" repentance.

Replaying an inappropriate message made at a time of impaired judgment due to drink, and knowing it was globally broadcast, can have a detrimental effect on some people's mental health, said Mr Kelly. The post can involve not just a comment but also a photo of someone in an inebriated state. It can also impact negatively on someone's job," he added.

Irish Independent

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