Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine published a new study on Monday stating that teenagers addicted to internet are two times more at risk of developing depression than those who use internet in a controlled way.
The study involved 1041 teenagers from Guangzhou, southeastern China, who were asked to complete a questionnaire to determine their way of using the internet. They were studied carefully for the degree of depression and anxiety based on their internet addiction.
More than 940 teenagers, among the 1041, were found to use the internet normally. However, 62 of them confessed of being moderately addicted to internet while two of them were categorized as severely pathological users. The teenagers’ psychology was reassessed about 9 months later and found that the 2 teens more addicted to internet were found to be more than twice at risk of developing depression.
Even when factored into equation, the 2 teens were still more than 1.5 times at higher risk of feeling depressed after 9 months, compared to the teens who limited their internet use. The study points that the youth, even if free from mental problems initially, develop depression on using the internet more than necessary.
Web-addicted teens have been identified to have stressed behavior with similar signs and symptoms as those of other addicts. Though, the pathological use of internet is found more in teenage boys, the number of girls becoming web-addicted is increasing, thus causing concerns. Moreover, the web-addicted teens use internet mostly for entertainment rather than for gathering info, studying or other benefiting purposes.
As the average age of the web-addicted teens was found to be 15 years, the team of researchers is suggesting a screening of teens while in high schools to categorize those at high risk of internet addiction which eventually leads to pathological behavior making them depressed.