Internet Addiction May Mask Teen Depression

The more depressed an adolescent is, the more time he or she will spend on the Internet, says researcher Sang Kyu Lee, MD, PhD, professor of psychiatry at Hallym University in Chunchon, Korea.

His study, presented here Monday at the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association, included 425 middle-school students. All were given a test of Internet addiction that asked such questions as whether you feel preoccupied with the Internet, whether you repeatedly make unsuccessful efforts to cut back on use, and whether your online travels are a means of escaping from problems.

The study shows that about 11 percent of the teens were “highly addicted to the Internet,” Lee says. “Less than one-third were in the no-risk group.”

So a bunch of teens are going through the normal ups and downs of being a teenager and turn to socializing or gameplaying on the Internet for comfort or distraction. This is news? Feh.