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  1. #1
    Honor Thy Inferior Such Irony's Avatar
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    Default Excessive Internet Use is Linked to Depression

    http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releas...-eiu020110.php


    Thoughts? Agree? Disagree?

    Excessive Internet use is linked to depression



    People who spend a lot of time browsing the net are more likely to show depressive symptoms, according to the first large-scale study of its kind in the West by University of Leeds psychologists.
    Researchers found striking evidence that some users have developed a compulsive internet habit, whereby they replace real-life social interaction with online chat rooms and social networking sites. The results suggest that this type of addictive surfing can have a serious impact on mental health.
    Lead author Dr Catriona Morrison, from the University of Leeds, said: "The internet now plays a huge part in modern life, but its benefits are accompanied by a darker side.
    "While many of us use the internet to pay bills, shop and send emails, there is a small subset of the population who find it hard to control how much time they spend online, to the point where it interferes with their daily activities."
    These 'internet addicts' spent proportionately more time browsing sexually gratifying websites, online gaming sites and online communities. They also had a higher incidence of moderate to severe depression than non-addicted users.
    "Our research indicates that excessive internet use is associated with depression, but what we don't know is which comes first – are depressed people drawn to the internet or does the internet cause depression?
    "What is clear, is that for a small subset of people, excessive use of the internet could be a warning signal for depressive tendencies."
    Incidents such as the spate of suicides among teenagers in the Welsh town of Bridgend in 2008 led many to question the extent to which social networking sites can contribute to depressive thoughts in vulnerable teenagers. In the Leeds study, young people were more likely to be internet addicted than middle-aged users, with the average age of the addicted group standing at 21 years.
    "This study reinforces the public speculation that over-engaging in websites that serve to replace normal social function might be linked to psychological disorders like depression and addiction," added Dr Morrison. "We now need to consider the wider societal implications of this relationship and establish clearly the effects of excessive internet use on mental health."
    This was the first large-scale study of Western young people to consider the relationship between internet addiction and depression. The internet use and depression levels of 1,319 people aged 16-51 were evaluated for the study, and of these, 1.2% were classed as being internet addicted. While small, this figure is larger than the incidence of gambling in the UK, which stands at 0.6%. The research will be published in the journal Psychopathology on 10th February.

    ###

    For more information
    Dr Catriona Morrison is available for interview. Please contact Hannah Isom in the University of Leeds press office on 0113 343 4031 or email h.isom@leeds.ac.uk.
    A full copy of the paper entitled, 'The relationship between excessive internet use and depression: a questionnaire-based study of 1,319 young people and adults,' is available on request.
    Notes to editors
    1. Dr Catriona Morrison is a Senior Lecturer in Experimental Psychology and Director of Learning and Teaching for the Institute of Psychological Sciences at the University of Leeds.
    2. The 2008 Research Assessment Exercise showed the University of Leeds to be the UK's eighth biggest research powerhouse. The University is one of the largest higher education institutions in the UK and a member of the Russell Group of research-intensive universities. The University's vision is to secure a place among the world's top 50 by 2015. http://leeds.ac.uk
    3. The University of Leeds Institute of Psychological Sciences received a rating of "Excellent" for the quality of its teaching in the latest QAA Subject Review, and was ranked 11th out of 76 in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise. http://www.psyc.leeds.ac.uk/
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  2. #2
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    It's interesting to me that they lump porn addicts and gambling addicts in with the rest of us losers who hang out in chat rooms and on forums. Sure, porn addicts and compulsive gamblers are depressed.

    I don't know about anyone else. It depends on if you spend those hours playing WoW or just randomly checking into more socially active places while you still do things like take walks outside and talk to people IRL.

    I feel like I have authority to speak on this as I spend a disproportionate amount of time on-line, partly due to the types of work I do.

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    It also occurs to me that people who are already predisposed to conditions like social anxiety, panic disorder, depression, and schizoid or schizotypal personality disorder would be drawn to be on the Internet, so like...the conditions are pre-existing.

  4. #4
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    Some are concerned with me being depressed... I don't know if the internet is the source. It was a thought I had once, but dismissed. Perhaps I should reinvestigate. I wouldn't say I'm an addict. I do love this website, because of the interaction and the knowledge, but this and facebook are really the only constant sites I visit. I dunno, I could see it.

  5. #5
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    I can see the correlation. I know when I go into my depressive states it's usually because I'm on the computer for too long trying to avoid people I don't want to talk to, but I really want to interact with others around me, but unfortunately that's hard to do. Some people just seem, unfriendly and antisocial, and all of my friends are always out of town.

    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    It also occurs to me that people who are already predisposed to conditions like social anxiety, panic disorder, depression, and schizoid or schizotypal personality disorder would be drawn to be on the Internet, so like...the conditions are pre-existing.
    Which is a real good reason as to why you shouldn't take many people seriously on the interwebz.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    It also occurs to me that people who are already predisposed to conditions like social anxiety, panic disorder, depression, and schizoid or schizotypal personality disorder would be drawn to be on the Internet, so like...the conditions are pre-existing.
    Exactamundo. Does depression draw people to spend time the internet or does spending time on the internet lead to depression.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tawanda View Post
    I can see the correlation. I know when I go into my depressive states it's usually because I'm on the computer for too long trying to avoid people I don't want to talk to, but I really want to interact with others around me, but unfortunately that's hard to do. Some people just seem, unfriendly and antisocial, and all of my friends are always out of town.
    I love the Internet though because not only does it keep me in touch with people from other times in my life (high school bff, family back East, etc.) even from the very beginning it opened up this whole new world to me of PEOPLE WHO WERE LIKE ME...people who like to read and argue about shit. I was on LiveJournal for years way before I ever came to this forum, and at times, at fucked up times in my life, the most interesting people I know that I had things in common with began as Internet friends (or always have just been Internet acquaintences).

    It sucks to be surrounded by morons and people who don't understand you. I've also met quite a few guys I've gone out with through being on-line.

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    you kids get outside and play!


  9. #9
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    I love the Internet though because not only does it keep me in touch with people from other times in my life (high school bff, family back East, etc.) even from the very beginning it opened up this whole new world to me of PEOPLE WHO WERE LIKE ME...people who like to read and argue about shit. I was on LiveJournal for years way before I ever came to this forum, and at times, at fucked up times in my life, the most interesting people I know that I had things in common with began as Internet friends (or always have just been Internet acquaintences).

    It sucks to be surrounded by morons and people who don't understand you. I've also met quite a few guys I've gone out with through being on-line.
    Haha, yeah the internet is my real parent. It basically raised me.

    Which makes me think, I think the reasons vary, sort of like the chicken and the egg thing. I think some people dealing with depression based on their own social surroundings discover something like the internet which provides escape from their socially-based depression (if you even want to call it that), while others who enjoy living their life on the internet at first become depressed because...well, they're living their life on the internet. Life is not meant to be lived in such a way, and unconsciously they probably know that, and there also could be some other factors causing the depression as well. It's hard to say what's more prevalent.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Synapse's Avatar
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    Ha its my way of being translatable and relateable in some way, although I lives in a hammock so that would account for all those internet times tattooed on my breastplate. I can't vouch for the depression and internet thing. Internets kept me sane, life hasn't. I was way out of it before the internet happened, me old school geeker boy.

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