A new survey shows that internet addiction may indicate other mental problems in teenagers. This survey indicates that people who use the internet excessively can develop mental health problems.
- The study was made by surveying 254 students.
- The researchers used two scales to evaluate the internet use.
- Internet addiction can cause anxiety and depression.
- Researchers say that they need to make more studies on this topic.
For this study, the researchers used two scales for evaluating the internet use. High rates of internet addiction were found in a group of college-aged students. The researchers used the Internet Addiction Test (IAT) and the scale developed by them that is based on new addiction criteria. This study was presented at the ECNP conference in Vienna, and it is an important discovery for the psychiatrists helping them in approaching excessive internet use.
The rise of the internet usage has caused fear that people can’t cope without going online regularly .The IAT is a test that measures the excessive usage of the internet, but it is not up to date.
” We were concerned that the IAT questionnaire may not have been picking up on problematic modern internet use, or showing up false positives for people who were simply using the Internet rather than being over-reliant on it.” Says Michael Van Ameringen, the Chief Researcher of the study.
Professor Van Ameringen along with his team correlated general mental health and well being with internet use from the 254 surveyed students. The researchers found out that the students who screened positive on the IAT scale had more trouble in dealing with their activities. The students also presented anxiety and depression symptoms, greater levels of impulsivity and ADHD symptoms.
The researchers are now wondering if these problems are caused or are causing the internet addiction.
This study may have medical implications, and it could help physicians treat depression and anxiety better. However, first of all, they need to know if the mental health problem was caused by the internet addiction or if it is the other way around.
The researchers also said that they need to conduct more studies on this topic, with more people, a bigger sample and for a more varied population.
What is your opinion on internet addiction? Do you think that it can cause mental health problems?
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