Surfing Web may Cause Depression

Dr Pinhas Dannon, psychiatrist from Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, and colleagues, have found that those who constantly surf the Internet may soon suffer from anxiety and severe depression.
The research reveals that nearly 10 percent of total Internet users worldwide are suffering from ‘Internet addiction disorder’, a pathological condition that can lead to anxiety and severe depression.
Internet addiction is a product of modernization, and is just like other addictions, including addiction to coffee, to exercise, or to talking on the mobile phone.

Dr Dannon says that in order to better diagnose- and treat- Internet addiction, it should be grouped along with other addictive disorders such as drugs, gambling, sex addiction, and Kleptomania.
As of now, mental health professionals classify Internet addiction as an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). This is defined as a mild to severe mental health condition that results in an urge to engage in ritualistic thought and behavior.
But Dr Dannon begs to differ. He is of the view that Internet addiction needs to be looked at differently. Internet addiction does not manifest itself as an ‘urge’. It’s more than that — it’s a deep ‘craving’. Dr Dannon says if there is no change made in the way Internet addiction is classified, it will not be possible to treat it properly.
There are two groups that face greatest risk from Internet addiction disorder — teenagers and women, and men in their mid-fifties who are experiencing loneliness. The problem may manifest itself in these groups in the form of loss of sleep, anxiety, feelings of isolation, and periods of deep depression, according to Dr Dannon.
Hence, Internet addiction should be treated like any other extreme- and menacing- addiction. More importantly, Dr Dannon advises mental health practitioners in schools and workplaces to be made aware of the risks associated with Internet addiction.
The findings of this research are recorded in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology.