Internet addiction and its relationship to depression in adolescents!

A new study found a relationship between Internet addiction and depression and drug abuse in adolescents. In the study, published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, researchers claim that Internet addiction has turned into compulsive behavior among adolescents, to the point that stopping Internet browsing may lead to medical and psychological consequences.
Researchers from Yale University studied questionnaires collected from 3,500 students from ten high schools in Connecticut, USA. Researchers determined whether there was Internet addiction among teenagers by evaluating their answers to questions such as whether they felt an irresistible desire to surf the Internet, or whether they suffered from increased stress when they could not surf the Internet.
The researchers found that one in 25 teens “misuse the Internet,” by their estimate, and these teens are more likely to develop medical and psychological problems when they are not surfing the Internet. It is not clear whether compulsive computer use is the cause of depression and drug abuse or whether these two problems arise due to the nature of the adolescent’s personality.
Dr. Elias specializes in problems resulting from excessive Internet use at Stanford University. He says: “It is indeed difficult to explain the relationship. Often it is like a chicken-and-egg story: Are teenagers surfing the Internet because they suffer from depression, or are they depressed because they surf the Internet for long hours?” ”
The team of researchers, led by Dr. Timothy Liu, asked 3,500 teenagers more than 150 questions about health, risky behavior and impulsivity, including seven questions about Internet use. Teenagers were asked whether they had missed school or important social activities because of their Internet browsing, or whether their family members expressed concern about their frequency of Internet use. Liu and his colleagues basically determined through three questions whether a student was “misusing the Internet”:
1. Have they ever had an “uncontrollable urge” to surf the Internet?
2. Did they feel stressed or anxious that could have been calmed down just by browsing the Internet?
3. Have they tried to stop or limit their use of the Internet?
Among 4% of students, misuse of the Internet was identified. Girls were more likely to answer “yes” to one of the questions that identified misuse, but more boys said they spent about twenty hours a week online – 17% compared to 13% of girls. Students who were identified as having misuse of the Internet, according to the study, were more likely to be depressed and involved in more fights. Boys in this category were more likely to smoke and use drugs. Surprisingly, excessive use of the Internet did not affect the educational achievement of boys.
Liu and his colleagues say the findings do not necessarily indicate a causal relationship between depression, substance abuse and Internet addiction, but Dr. Gerald Block, a psychiatrist at Oregon State University, says the findings do indicate a tendency toward addiction. “I would say there is enough data to determine that excessive Internet use is an example of addiction.” Block believes that since the classification of the level of Internet browsing was done by the students themselves, it is possible that the study discovered a lower number of children who misuse the Internet than the actual number.
“In almost every addiction, there is a tendency to underreport the amount of time spent on the specific activity,” he explains. Block adds that he has no doubt that psychiatrists will eventually recognize Internet addiction as a disorder in itself. “When he uses a computer for 30 hours a week, the computer itself becomes an important thing, there is a relationship with it

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