Excessive internet use linked to depression


Associated Press of Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: People who spend a lot of time surfing the Internet are more likely to suffer from depression. But it is not clear whether the Internet causes depression or whether depressed people are drawn to it.

In the first large-scale study of young people to look at this issue, researchers analysed Internet use and depression levels of 1,319 Britons aged between 16 and 51 years. Of these, 1.2 percent were Internet addicts, spending proportionately more time browsing sexually gratifying websites, online gaming sites and communities, BBC radio reported. They were also found to have a higher incidence of moderate to severe depression than normal users. Some avid net users develop compulsive Internet habits in which they replace real-life social interaction with online chat rooms and social networking sites.

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 Internet use lead to 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.

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