Internet Addicts Prone To Depression

Teenagers who spend excessive amounts of time surfing the Internet are more vulnerable to developing depression, a new study finds.

According to the study published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, excessive use of internet places individuals at one and a half times greater risk of becoming depressed.

“Some spend more than 10 hours a day, they are really problematic users and they show signs and symptoms of addictive behavior … browsing the Internet, playing games,” said lead researcher Lawrence Lam.

Agitation caused when teens are not surfing and loss of interest in social interaction are the main signs of depression in teenagers spending at least five to more than 10 hours a day on the web, the study found.

“They can’t get their minds off the Internet, they feel agitated if they don’t get back on after a short period of being away,” said Lam, adding that lack of sleep and stress from competitive online games are other factors contributing to depression in these individuals.

Scientists concluded that internet addiction is associated with not only psychiatric symptoms, particularly depression, but also aggressive behavior, relationship problems and physical health problems.

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