College aged students who excessively use internet are trying to hide from their personal issues.
A new internet addiction survey has unearthed a very interesting phenomenon; internet addicts have greater number of mental health problems. Problematic internet use meaning excessive use of internet can be called internet addiction.
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Researchers have found people who suffer from mental health illnesses have a higher chance of being addicted to internet. Especially college aged students with internet addiction are more prone to have underlying mental health problems.
In the current research internet addiction was analyzed using the Internet Addiction Test (IAT). The results may be a breakthrough for psychiatrists in how to approach excessive internet use. The results will also be presented at the ECNP conference in Vienna.
Already mental health professionals were deliberating how the increasing use of internet is making people more anti-social. But it seems the addiction is established after a person already has mental problems.
In the research carried out at the McMaster University in Canada 254 students were surveyed for internet addiction. Internet addiction was found to be present in 33 of the students, while 107 students were determined to suffer from problematic internet use.
The research team led by Professor Van Ameringen evaluated the effects of internet use with general mental health and wellbeing.
In addition to the IAT, the research team also performed newly formed screening tools. Other tests which determine conditions like depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, inattention and even ADHD, were also performed.
The research found the group with internet addiction had more trouble navigating day to day life. The results further raised more questions like is internet addiction more prevalent than previously perceived and does its rise mean an increase in mental health problems?
One thing is for sure internet addiction is a new phenomenon which requires more insight.