24-Hour Crisis Hotline: (877)SAFEGBC or (877)723-3422 Mental Health & Substance Abuse Issues

6502 Nursery Drive, Suite 100
Victoria, TX 77904
(361)575-0611
(800)421-8825

Mental Disorders
Resources
Basic InformationLookupsLatest News
Mental Health Myths Abound in the U.S.Care Access Worsening for Adults With Psychological DistressJust 1 in 5 Mentally Ill Women Gets Cervical Cancer ScreeningsAnxious? Distressed? You're Not AlonePast Psychiatric Disorders Do Not Raise Risk of Alzheimer's DiseasePast Psychiatric Ills Don't Raise Alzheimer's Risk: StudySelf-Harm Can Be a Harbinger of SuicideClimate Change May Cloud Americans' Mental Health: ReportKetamine Beneficial for Certain Patients With Mood DisordersPatients Reluctant to Comply With Drug-Only Psychiatric TreatmentPatients Often Reject Drug-Only Psychiatric TreatmentStudy Links Psychiatric Disorders to Stroke RiskAnxiety, Depression May Up Mortality Risk for Some CancersMental Health May Affect Chances Against CancerObamacare Covered More People With Mental Illness, AddictionsMany With Mental Illness Miss Out on HIV TestsPlastic Surgeons Often Miss Patients' Mental DisordersMortality Risk in T2DM Increased With Depression and/or AnxietyMost Smokers With Mental Illness Want to Kick the HabitRate of Psychiatric Drug Use About 16 Percent in U.S. Adults1 in 6 U.S. Adults Takes a Psychiatric Drug: StudyFor People With Mental Health Woes, Pets Can Be InvaluableHealth Tip: Thinking About Psychological Therapy?Heart Rate, BP in Male Teens Tied to Later Risk for Psych DisordersU.S. Psychiatric Patients Face Long Waits in ERsAre Some Blood Pressure Meds Linked to Depression, Bipolar Risk?Study Links Pot Use to Relapse in Psychosis PatientsInternet Addiction May Be Red Flag for Other Mental Health Issues: StudyPsychiatric Patients Face Longer Waits in ERParents' Psychiatric Issues May Adversely Affect Some ChildrenAntipsychotic Meds Pose Little Danger to Fetus, Study FindsInfertility Patients' Mental Health Problems Often UnaddressedStudy of Teen Brains Offers Clues to Timing of Mental IllnessHealth Tip: Take Steps to Stay Mentally HealthyAre 'Workaholics' Prone to OCD, Anxiety?Mentally Ill Still Gain Illegal Possession of Guns, Study ShowsU.S. Soldier in Custody Following Slaying of 5 Americans in Iraq
Questions and AnswersLinks
Related Topics

Anxiety Disorders
Bipolar Disorder
Depression: Depression & Related Conditions
Schizophrenia
Eating Disorders

Internet Addiction May Be Red Flag for Other Mental Health Issues: Study

HealthDay News
by -- Mary Elizabeth Dallas
Updated: Sep 19th 2016

new article illustration

SUNDAY, Sept. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Internet addiction may signal other mental health issues among college students, according to a new study.

Canadian researchers say their findings could affect how psychiatrists approach people who spend a significant amount of time online.

For the study, the researchers evaluated the internet use of 254 freshmen at McMaster University in Ontario. The researchers used a tool called the Internet Addiction Test (IAT), developed in 1998, as well as their own scale based on more recent criteria.

"Internet use has changed radically over the last 18 years, through more people working online, media streaming, social media, etc. We were concerned that the IAT questionnaire may not have been picking up on problematic modern internet use, or showing up false positives for people who were simply using the internet rather than being over-reliant on it," said chief researcher Dr. Michael Van Ameringen. He is a professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience at McMaster.

With the new screening tool, 33 students met criteria for internet addiction, and 107 for problematic internet use.

Van Ameringen's team also assessed the students' mental health, including signs of impulsiveness, depression, anxiety and stress.

Most of those addicted to the internet had trouble controlling their use of video streaming and social networking sites as well as instant messaging tools, the researchers found.

They had more trouble handling their daily routines and higher rates of depression, anxiety, impulsiveness and inattention. They also had problems with planning and time management, the researchers found.

Dr. Jan Buitelaar is a professor of psychiatry at Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Center in the Netherlands. He said: "Excessive use of the internet is an understudied phenomenon that may disguise mild or severe psychopathology; excessive use of the internet may be strongly linked to compulsive behavior and addiction."

The study is scheduled to be presented Sunday at the European College of Neuropsychopharmacology's (ECNP) annual meeting in Vienna, Austria. Research presented at medical meetings should be considered preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The new research only found an association between internet use and mental health. Van Ameringen said a larger study is needed to learn if these mental health issues are a cause or a result of excessive internet use.

"This may have practical medical implications. If you are trying to treat someone for an addiction when in fact they are anxious or depressed, then you may be going down the wrong route. We need to understand this more, so we need a bigger sample, drawn from a wider, more varied population," Van Ameringen said in an ECNP news release.

More information

The U.S. National Institutes of Health provides more information on addiction.