Internet Addiction, Depression and Psychotherapy

Internet Addiction has been linked to Depression. Psychotherapy can Intervene

Research performed by British psychologists at Leeds University have found evidence of a link between excessive internet use and depression. In their psychology journal they say that people within a small group categorised as internet addicts are more likely to be depressed than those not considered to be addicted.

Their research using a questionaire based study and the Beck Depression Inventory and involving 1319 young people and adults reported that of those who took part 1.4% were internet addicts.

Dr. Catriona Morrison, the lead author of the article regarding this research said, “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.”

The age range of all participants was between 16 and 51 years, with a mean age of 21.24. The mean age of the internet addicts was 18.3 years and 70% of them were men.

They also discovered that addicts spent proportionately more time browsing sexually gratifying websites, online gaming sites and online communities.

“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,” Morrison said.

She goes on to say, “We now need to consider the wider societal implications of this relationship and establish clearly the effects of excessive internet use on mental health”.

Internet addiction is a serious issue for the modern age. It can have detrimenntal effects upon one’s relationships and therefore effect all walks of life, work, social, family etc.

At The Cavendish Psychotherapy Practice on Harley Street in London, the therapists have worked with sufferers of addiction in order to help them gain a better understanding of what lies behind it and support them as they work through it.