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Asta Kask
2010-02-06, 01:47 PM
Correlation between "excessive" internet use and depression. (http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20100202/study-links-excessive-internet-use-to-depression.htm)

NOTE: correlation only. We don't know that either causes the other.

Comet
2010-02-06, 01:51 PM
Can't say that I'm that surprised. I mean, the Internet seems to be very good grounds for this kind of thing. What with the anonymity and hiding from the world bit and all.

I don't feel particularly depressed, though. And I don't think I've run into that many seriously depressed folk online, either. Unless they're very good at hiding :smalltongue:

Asta Kask
2010-02-06, 02:06 PM
Well, I'm being treated for major depressive disorder. But it's difficult to notice over the internet.

Gamerlord
2010-02-06, 02:08 PM
Meh, I never trust studies like this.

ghost_warlock
2010-02-06, 02:12 PM
I was depressed long before I started using the internet.

For that matter, I was depressed long before being depressed was considered cool.

To the youngsters of today, I just want to say one thing: for you being depressed is just a fad; for me it's a lifestyle! :smallcool:

Zeb The Troll
2010-02-06, 02:18 PM
What's this "internet" thing everyone keeps talking about? I think I'll steer clear of it. Sounds like bad business. No thank you, sir. I'll just stick to cruising this Information Superhighway that Al Gore made for me. :smallcool:

The Dark Fiddler
2010-02-06, 02:21 PM
If I had to guess, it's not the internet causing depression, but people with depression going to the internet a lot. The anonymity must help, or something.

Asta Kask
2010-02-06, 02:30 PM
If I had to guess, it's not the internet causing depression, but people with depression going to the internet a lot. The anonymity must help, or something.

That's my guess as well. But more studies are required!

Starfols
2010-02-06, 02:31 PM
I find that the Internet, or at least this website, is actually less depressing than real life.

Also, that article had some weird statistics. 1.2% addiction, vs. average percentage of depression (much higher). I don't see how that causes a correlation :smallfrown:.

Asta Kask
2010-02-06, 02:59 PM
The 1.2% who were internet addicted were much likelier to have moderate to severe depression.

Icewalker
2010-02-06, 05:13 PM
If I had to guess, it's not the internet causing depression, but people with depression going to the internet a lot. The anonymity must help, or something.

Yup, this. It's correlation, so this is my guess as well. There may be some individual cases where it's the cause, but in general, nope.

Krade
2010-02-06, 05:17 PM
Huh... I'm on the internet a large portion of my free time... am I depressed? I've thought about this many times and I've come to the conclusion that while I'm not 'emotionally' depressed, I wouldn't exactly be surprised if I found out I was 'clinically' depressed. Not that it matters, even if I do suffer (I use the term loosely) from some kind of chemical imbalance I wouldn't take meds for it.

Toastkart
2010-02-06, 05:22 PM
"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,"

This is kind of the key thing, right here. It's a huge assumption that internet social interaction is less effective or even detrimental compared to face to face social interaction. It sounds to me like this was a bias built into the study.

Hazkali
2010-02-06, 06:46 PM
"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,"

I wouldn't say that this is necessarily a bad conclusion to make, just because it is the "public" conclusion. The stereotypes, such as that of the introverted gamer whose life revolves around MMOs, exist because such people exist. They may be rare, but they are out there, and if someone is living entirely online, there is an awful lot of the 'real world' stuff that they will be missing. Including, for one, vitamin D, which the human body requires sunlight to produce and which could be a partial cause of the depression (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypovitaminosis_D#Signs_and_symptoms).

LCR
2010-02-06, 06:47 PM
How is this thread not titled "Bad news, everyone!"?

Serpentine
2010-02-06, 09:57 PM
But more studies are required!The most oft-repeated advice in my science units was "Always include this at the end of any study!" It's almost certainly true, and it guarantees you a job in the future :smallbiggrin:

Don Julio Anejo
2010-02-06, 10:01 PM
IMO it's probably the other way around than the article suggests.

Internet doesn't give you depression, that's a pretty stupid conclusion.

Now, on the other hand, depression means you're much less likely to leave the house. Which means you're more likely to spend your time on the internet.

Reinboom
2010-02-06, 10:12 PM
I would like to see a study performed on a more open and empty setting and country with readily available internet use, targeted. For example, a good portion of Russia or the American midwest.
This would give a heavier amount of people who might have developed what they would consider internet addiction, yet may be online constantly due more to legitimately not having much of anything to do.

As well as many other targeted studies in the same vain.

Edit: I'm rather suspect that the internet has a tendency to draw in people who have hypochrondriasis and related mental processes. Through constant availability to research different problems, interacting with people who have the problem, and even interacting with a significant number of others that share the same type of mental process I could easily see them as to developing, expanding, and compounding different mentalities.

Easily, I could imagine a person to develop symptoms of depression without actually developing depression. Up to and including the point of believing it themselves.

However, this is speculation via observation only.

Lupy
2010-02-06, 10:19 PM
I'd think that the Internet has more to do with detachment from reality than depression... Besides, does the real world have a depression thread? I think not.

golentan
2010-02-06, 10:22 PM
I'd think that the Internet has more to do with detachment from reality than depression... Besides, does the real world have a depression thread? I think not.

It does. I consulted it yesterday. It's called "Cookie Dough and Trashy Movies in Pajama Pants."

Don Julio Anejo
2010-02-06, 10:45 PM
It does. I consulted it yesterday. It's called "Cookie Dough and Trashy Movies in Pajama Pants."
Wait, you need to be depressed to do that? :smallconfused:

Moff Chumley
2010-02-06, 10:53 PM
I was depressed long before I started using the internet.

For that matter, I was depressed long before being depressed was considered cool.

To the youngsters of today, I just want to say one thing: for you being depressed is just a fad; for me it's a lifestyle! :smallcool:

May I sig? :smallbiggrin:

Blas_de_Lezo
2010-02-09, 05:24 PM
Depressed people are so depressing...:smallsigh:

bluewind95
2010-02-09, 06:06 PM
I'd say it's possible, if the depression is caused by lack of social contact. The depressed person would attempt to replace the social contact that way.

Kind of like taking a vitamin pill. Not the same as eating the proper foods with the vitamin, but better than nothing at all.

And yes, Blas. We are.

randman22222
2010-02-09, 06:19 PM
The same bias that's present in choosing a picture of a poorly lit internet café in Shangxi for the article is present in the text itself.

I do think real life interaction is superior to internet interactions, but I don't think there's anything bad about getting involved at the weird culture that exists here in the internet. And what The Dark Fiddler said is probably right on target.

ForzaFiori
2010-02-09, 06:20 PM
I agree with everyone else about depressed people gravitating to the internet, not internet users becoming depressed. I was fairly depressed several years ago, when I hardly used the internet, but now that I'm on it alot more, I've actually gotten better (thanks in part to sites like this, with all the nice people). Its more that depressed people tend to not do much, like go outside, or play sports, not to mention that many don't want to admit depression, so they stay right where they are (in their room, or livingroom, what-have-you) and hop on the computer and go to places where you can anonymously post messages

TSGames
2010-02-09, 06:24 PM
I find that the Internet, or at least this website, is actually less depressing than real life.

This is part of its addicting nature. IA(Internet Addiction) is soon to be acknowledged as a real medical disorder. Preliminary diagnosis most often uses questions similar to gambling addiction tests to determine IA. Example (http://www.netaddiction.com/index.php?option=com_bfquiz&view=onepage&catid=46&Itemid=106)

The fact of the matter is that people who are addicted to anything are likely to be depressed; the internet is no exception. IA will probably reach levels comparable to drug and alcohol addiction in the future(at least in America). In South Korea, it is already acknowledged as a disorder and there are already more than 50 treatment centers open.

IA News (http://www.netaddiction.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=76&Itemid=98)

randman22222
2010-02-09, 06:26 PM
You know, come to think about it, I'm sure there exists a minority that is depressed due to internet usage. A small population that falls down the rabbit hole, and can't get out.

Not the majority.

PJ the Epic
2010-02-09, 06:28 PM
I firmly believe the only thing that makes internet user depressed is what they view on the internet. Since i do not view any questionable material, I am not depressed.