The addicts put virtual life over real life. Thus, becoming less able to cope with real life situations. As a result, it can affect various areas of their life, for instance, relationships, academic performance, and daily activities. Depression and internet addiction is a hot topic in the scientific community. As more users join the “global village,” the problem may swell. Accordingly, it needs immediate attention.
Web use has become a crucial part of modern life. Its use has grown quickly. The effect is a common virtual world where everything connects. No doubt, it has brought some revolutionary changes. For example, it has brought us closer to people than we are in real life. Thus, allowing for quicker communication.
A Quick Overview Of Internet Addiction
It is a compulsive need to stay online even in the absence of necessity. As a result, it negatively impacts a person’s day-to-day functions. Like drug addiction, experts call it a psychosocial disorder. Meaning, you should seek professional help if you or anyone you love has this dependency.
As a matter of fact, 5 to 10% of “Global Citizens” develop this addiction. The characteristic features of IA can include:
- Cravings for being online
- Spending a significant amount of time online
- Social isolation and relationship problems
- Behavioral changes like aggressiveness and nervousness
Synonyms: Internet Overuse. Compulsive Internet use (CIU). Problematic Internet use (PIU). Problematic Computer Use.) Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD). Pathological Computer Use (PCU.)
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Exploring A Complex Relation Between Depression And Internet Addiction
What Is The Relationship Between Depression And Internet Addiction?
Internet addiction can cause poor sleep quality and suicidal attempts. Note these signs are the risk factors for depression. Internet addiction and depression could be the risk factor for each other. They may even share some common risk factors.
Depression may not be a sign of internet addiction. But the opposite may be true, according to a 2017 study published in the PLOS ONE. An overuse of the internet could mean the user has mental issues. People with low self-esteem may develop depression and internet addiction.
Who is At Risk Of Having Depression And Internet Addiction?
- Young people, especially teenagers.
- Those with poor self-esteem may hide their insecurities in the virtual world.
- Those staying online for more than 40 hours in a week, or 20 hours continuously.
- Those with common risk factors like dysfunctional family and victims of abuse.
Online Time: The Key to Understanding Depression And Internet Addiction
The time spent online is important to watch. Too much time effects the risk of depression and internet addiction. If it is more than five hours per day, the risk increases by two.
Internet addiction is a major concern for younger people. Teenagers commonly form this dependency.
Another study suggests poor sleep quality due to excessive web use may worsen some depressive symptoms.
Why Depression And Internet Addiction Co-occur?
There are two main reasons why depression and internet addiction co-occur.
- Many addicts have a history of depression and anxiety disorders. Being online and interacting with people in the virtual world may give them a sense of security. Also, it provides a way of escape.
- Young people with low self-esteem devote longer hours browsing the net compared to those with high self-esteem. In most cases, they spend more hours using social networks.
- Poor self-control may be a common risk factor for depression and internet addiction.
- The degree of Internet addiction mirrors the severity of depression.
- Individuals who web surf for 40 or more hours a week may need treatment at a hospital. The duration is not the only criteria to confirm the addiction, though. The difference between a purposeful use and addiction is the motive.
What’s The Solution?
Like any other form of addiction, the first step starts with the realization there is a problem. Watch for the symptoms of depression and internet addiction. Note the timing and severity of the symptoms. In general, the symptoms occur at the same time. Also, watch behavior and recent changes in mood.
If you suspect you or anyone you love has this problem, seek professional help right away. With a timely treatment from an expert, you can expect a complete recovery.
Want To Know More?
Talk to experts and learn the relation between depression and addiction. They are a good source for trustworthy health information. With the correct information, you can expect to benefit better.
Are you looking for professional medical help for internet addiction? Learn more here.