Internet Usage is Linked to Teen Depression

The internet is so prevalent in our daily lives that we sometimes we forget that we used to function without it. Older generations can really appreciate the convenience of the internet because they knew how the world operated and accomplished things without having the answer presented in ten seconds or less. On the flip side, the majority of younger generations have always had the internet readily available. Even if they were not fortunate enough to have access to it at home, schools, libraries and wi-fi still made it possible for them to take part in the phenomenon. But is too much internet access a bad thing? According to US News Health, an abundant amount of internet usage is linked to teen depression.

We’ve previously informed you of the growing depression epidemic among youth in articles such as “Females are More at Risk for Depression and Anxiety” and “One in 25 Teens Attempt Suicide“. Now experts are saying that the internet is another factor affecting depression in young people. According to US News, “teenagers who have an unhealthy dependence on the Internet are almost twice as likely to become depressed as other teens…”.

As reported by US News Health:

The researchers tracked 1,041 teenagers, finding out how much they used the Internet and whether that use was unhealthy. They used surveys similar to those used with pathological gamblers. A typical question asked: “How often do you feel depressed, moody, or nervous when you are offline, which goes away once you are back online?” The vast majority of the teens, 94 percent, weren’t pathological Internet users. But 6 percent were considered moderately at risk. Nine months later, those students were one-and-a-half times more likely to have symptoms of clinical depression than teens who were less dependent on the Internet, though they had not been depressed before.

Think about all the social media sites you know of that are available online outside of Facebook and Twitter. Now think about how many your kid knows about that you don’t. They could be spending hours reading through profiles, looking at pictures or commenting on statuses that have nothing to do with their everyday lives. Therefore leaving them less time to get things like school work accomplished and making them feel like using the internet and or social networking is a necessity.

In order to help correct the problem, set limits on your child or teens internet usage especially if you’ve noticed that they seem to have an addictive behavior towards the internet. Like they have to check Facebook as soon as they get home or have gotten into trouble at school multiple times for using social networks and unauthorized internet sites during class times.

Again, if your child is indeed depressed or has some other mental disorder, please seek immediate attention by a medical professional.


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