7 The second way social media causes depression anxiety is from the stress produced from constantly trying to project an unrealistic and unachievable perception of perfection within your social network. The social anxiety of stress is associated with trying to project a perfect self at all times. The constant stress from constantly trying to project an image of perfection, a perfect career, perfect marriage, etc. leads to the constant release of the stress hormone cortisol, and just like social media usage, leads to depression anxiety. The constant release of the stress hormone cortisol, from heavy social media usage, over time causes damage to your gastrointestinal tract (gut), which opens the door to an immuno-inflammatory response in the body and brain, leading to depression anxiety.