If you ever needed a reason to get help for someone with an excessive internet habit, here's a good one: Those addicted to online surfing are more likely to exhibit symptoms of depression, anxiety, or ADHD, among other mental health issues.
That's the warning from researchers from McMaster University in Canada who evaluated 254 students using the Internet Addiction Test and a newly developed standard of their own.
McMaster University professor Van Ameringen and his team found that 33 of the students met the criteria for internet addiction, stemming from video streaming, social media, gaming, messaging, gambling, and dating apps, as well as other activities. A full 107 students met that standard and more — they were flagged as problematic internet users, and had significantly higher levels of functional impairment identified as depression, anxiety, impulsiveness, inattention, and ADHD, according to the Daily Mail.
Amerigen reported: "We found that those screening positive on the IAT as well as on our scale, had significantly more trouble dealing with their day-to-day activities, including life at home, at work/school and in social settings. Individuals with internet addiction also had significantly higher amounts of depression and anxiety symptoms, problems with planning and time management, greater levels of attentional impulsivity as well as ADHD symptoms.
"This leads us to a couple of questions: firstly, are we grossly underestimating the prevalence of internet addiction and secondly are these other mental health issues a cause or consequence of this excessive reliance on the internet?
"This may have practical medical implications. If you are trying to treat someone for an addiction when in fact they are anxious or depressed, then you may be going down the wrong route. We need to understand this more, so we need a bigger sample, drawn from a wider, more varied population."
The researchers presented their work at the 29th European College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference in Vienna.
© 2023 NewsmaxHealth. All rights reserved.