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Too much internet use can lead to depression in young people

Friday, August 06, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
Tags: internet use, depression, health news

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(NaturalNews) A new report published in the journal Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine has revealed that young people who spend too much time on the internet are more likely to be depressed than those who use it moderately. "Pathological" internet use is linked to causing other problems as well such as poor physical health, relationship problems, aggressive behaviors and even psychological disorders.

For the study, the research team evaluated the mental health and internet use patterns of more than 1,000 Chinese teenagers. At the start of the study, the teenagers filled out questionnaires about their feelings both on- and off-line, and how often they used the internet. The researchers also evaluated the mental health patterns of the teens.

After nine months, researchers again evaluated the participants to see what had developed. They found that young people with internet addiction are 250 percent more likely to develop depression than young people without it.

"This result suggests that young people who are initially free of mental health problems but use the internet pathologically could develop depression as a consequence," explain the study authors in their paper.

Study authors suggest that schools start to screen children for internet addiction as part of an early prevention strategy.

"Certain symptoms of internet addiction are similar to those in other types of addictive behavior. These including cravings (in this case, for more time on the computer), neglecting family members and friends, moodiness when not using the computer, and lying to people about the amount of time spent on the internet," explains Jack Challem in his book The Food-Mood Solution: All-Natural Ways to Banish Anxiety, Depression, Anger, Stress, Overeating, and Alcohol and Drug Problems--and Feel Good Again.

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