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Internet addiction is often encouraged by other mental health problems


An internet addiction rarely comes alone

Whether on a smartphone or on a PC, almost everyone does it almost every day. Surfing the Internet has long since become an everyday routine for most people. But there are many people with whom surfing the Internet can become addictive. The German Society for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Psychosomatics and Neurology (DGPPN) explains certain behaviors to the dpa that indicate whether one is affected by an internet addiction. According to the DGPPN, internet addiction is often favored by other mental health problems.

As an example, the DGPPN names depressed people who use the Internet to reduce the loneliness they perceive. People who accept problems at work, in a partnership or in the family to spend more time on the Internet may also be addicted. Certain behaviors, such as constant inner restlessness when you are away from the Internet, can indicate Internet addiction.

How much internet use is still normal?

Lots of people spend a lot of time online these days, but when does someone count as addicted? According to the DGPPN, this cannot be expressed in terms of time, since the Internet is part of everyday life for many professionals and also plays a major role in entertainment. Only those who can no longer control the use and feel withdrawal symptoms such as inner restlessness when not in use, according to the psychiatrists, are at risk of addiction. Those who feel they may be affected are best advised to contact an addiction advice center.

Young people are particularly at risk

According to the Drugs and Addiction Report 2016, which Federal Drugs Commissioner Marlene Mortler presented, more than half a million people are online addicts in Germany. Another 500,000 people are considered at risk. According to the report, younger people are at greater risk than older people. In the age group of 14 to 24 year olds the chance to develop an internet addiction is about 2.5 times higher than in the age group up to 64 years. In the group of 14 to 16 year olds, the chance is even four times as high. According to Mortler, girls and women are more likely to get lost on social networks. Boys are focused on computer games. (fp)

Author and source information


Video: Internet addiction disorder affecting toddlers. 60 Minutes Australia (October 2020).