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Researchers indicate teenagers addicted to the Internet are more likely to harm themselves than other teens

A new study indicates teenagers who are addicted to the internet are more likely to have behavioral issues along with a higher likelihood for self-harm.

During the study that involved 1,618 teenagers between the ages of 13 to 18 from the Guangdong Province in China, some of those surveyed admitted to hitting themselves, burning, pinching, and other forms self-abuse. People who admitted to being addicted to the internet reportedly were 2.4 times more likely to have hurt themselves in the past six months.

Specifically, less than one percent said they were severely addicted to the internet, while around 10 percent were moderately addicted.

"In recent years, with the greater availability of the internet in most Asian countries, internet addiction has become an increasing mental problem among adolescents," the study noted.  "Many studies have reported associations between Internet addiction, psychiatric symptoms and depression among adolescents."

The joint Australian-Chinese study, carried out by the University of Notre Dame Australia's Dr. Lawrence Lam, indicates a "strong and significant" correlation with internet addiction and self-harm.

So-called internet addiction -- which has reportedly existed since the mid-1990s -- is still a grey area among mental health experts interested in creating specific guidelines to define internet addiction.

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RE: Perfect Job
By insurgent on 12/7/2009 10:21:52 AM , Rating: 2
Isn't this true for any addict? An addiction to anything suggests deeper problems, is a heroine addict less likely to harm himself compared to internet addicts?

RE: Perfect Job
By TSS on 12/7/2009 10:56:10 AM , Rating: 2
An addiction in itself doesn't have to signal deeper problems, the start of that addiction might.

However i think the severity of how much one hurts himself is more correlated with the severity of the addiction, not the addiction to something.

If your severly addicted to <fill in anything>, then that same thing gets taken away, you are going to feel pain. Self inflicted pain can then be a focus for you to get your mind off the other pain your feeling of not getting what you need.

This doesn't have to mean quitting. For somebody who's addicted to heroin, it means "when the buzz wears off". For somebody who's addicted to the internet, i'd figure that point comes when they go offline.

Suppose a mild addiction means 1 week without internet before they start showing withdrawl, severe is a day and extreme is an hour. Then suppose a patient of each goes to school for 8 hours.

The mild patient won't have any problems. The severe patient will have problems concentrating, but as long as there is time to go online in a day he's fine. The extreme patient is going to suffer, regardless. I'd say he's very likely to hurt himself, for the above reason.

RE: Perfect Job
By killerb255 on 12/8/2009 2:30:58 PM , Rating: 2
Also add to that the correlation between addictions (no matter how subjective) and other psychiatric disorders:


This is the big kahuna, folks. Lack of focus, lack of concentration, the brain that's like a TV with a stuck "Channel Up" button. However, if they do happen to fix the Channel Up button, they often rip the damn button out of their proverbial TV because they found one channel to stimulate the lack of dopamine in their brains. This often comes off as an addiction. This goes double or triple if it's an addition to a chemical stimulant (i.e.: cocaine, meth, caffeine), as stimulants are used in the treatment of ADHD!

2) Depression

To sum this one up: "I don't care about anything else" and they'll do the few things they can find an ounce of "enjoyment" from. Since people with depression are often self-mutilators, the person in this article could very well have been a person with depression that cuts themselves that just so happen to hang on the Internet too much.

3) Bipolar Disorder

Also known as manic depression, it's like the redheaded stepchild between depression, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD), Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD), and ADHD. They go through cycles of depression and cycles of what's called "mania," but the cycles don't change on a dime like they do with BPD. During the mania, the person has the grandiosity of someone with NPD and the sporadic behavior of someone with ADHD. Adding fuel to the fire, people with bipolar disorder tend to cycle with the medication: they take it when they're depressed and stop taking it when they're manic. Since discontinuing an anti-depressant is usually bad news, you now have a walking addiction machine that can get addicted to anything they think can keep them manic and/or get them out of depression...

On a side note, the committee responsible for writing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM) is considering putting "Internet Addiction Disorder" and/or "Gaming Addiction Disorder" in the DSM-V (the fifth version of said book of mental disorders). Of course opinions are mixed on this one (+: it gets covered under insurance if it's Axis I in the DSM; -: creates an ugly precedent--where do we draw the line on what is and is not an "addiction"?)

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