According to an article from the Depression Health Centre, teenagers who are too dependent on the internet are more likely to develop depression or other psychiatric problems than teens who are considered as normal internet users.
This is the result of the study done by researchers in Australia and China which followed the internet use of more than a thousand teenagers aged 13 to 18 in China. All of them were free of depression and anxiety at the start of the study. Nine months later, as they were evaluated, 87 were judged as having developed depression. Eight reported significant anxiety symptoms.
Teens who get addicted to the internet often spend 5 to more than 10 hours a day in front of the computer screen, typing or gaming away until the wee hours of the morning. They get angry or agitated if not in front of the computer and will increasingly shun social interactions.
According to the Centre for Online Addiction, “internet addiction is a type of a compulsive disorder that affects a person’s daily life.” Symptoms Include:
• Failed attempts to control behavior
• Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and Internet activities
• Neglecting friends and family
• Neglecting sleep to stay online
• Being dishonest with others
• Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of online behavior
• Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome
• Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities
Health experts suggest that schools screen students for internet dependence so they can help our young people get counseling and treatment. At home, parents can help, too by monitoring their children’s activities and talking to them about the dangers of too much internet, and encourage them to be more sociable and interact with other people.
Hanggang sa muli!