Caught in the Net – Caught in a Depressed State

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A Chinese study has found that those who spend a great deal of time on the Internet are 150% more likely to suffer from depression. Those users would be categorised as ‘excessive users’ by the Chinese authorities who have developed camps where painful forms of punishment are used to rid people of their Internet addictions (Depressing stuff.)

They describe excessive use as spending up to ten hours a day on the World Wide Web. Those who are in this situation Researcher Lawrence Lam has stated are agitated when they are away from the computer screen, and will be missing out on social interaction without a feeling of loss.

Lawrence Lam stated, how those who spend more than 10 hours a day are very problematic users with signs of addictive behaviour emanating from them. They are spending their time on the net in a non productive form just playing games and browsing according to the researcher. The paper he played a major role in producing has been published in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

He has recounted how those who are addicted are unable to get their minds off the happenings in the land of the Internet, This psychologist at Sydney’s University of Notre Dame’s School of Medicine also detailed how the individuals have no desire to see their friends or family.

With more than 1,000 teenagers sampled in the study, it was a large study with conclusive evidence emerging. The subjects were all between the ages of 13 and 18 all from China, and all were seen to be free of depression at the beginning of observation.

Nine months into the study however more than 8% of those observed when assessed were demonstrating depression, with those who were in the excessive use category (5-10 hours per day) seen to be one and half times more likely to demonstrate symptoms of depression than other individuals.

“Results suggested that young people who are initially free of mental health problems, but use the Internet pathologically could develop depression as a consequence,” it was stated by Lam.  He also outlined how the demonstration of depression may be down to loss of sleep due to over use of the Net. It has been outlined previously how a lack of sleep can lead to the onset of depression.

This was the first study of its kind demonstrating the dangers of pathological use of the Internet with a view to demonstrating a link with depression.  Depression it was determined in the study could also be the cause as opposed to the consequence of excessive Internet use. It has been requested by the psychiatrist that schools put in a place a program of screening students for signs of addiction so that counseling can be administered.

Learn how I beat Depression

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