Leed University researchers, writing in the Psychopathology journal, said a small proportion of internet users were classed as internet addicts and that people in this group were more likely to be depressed than non-addicted users.
The article on the relationship between excessive internet use and depression, a questionnaire-based study of 1,319 young people and adults, used data compiled from respondents to links placed on UK-based social networking sites.
The respondents answered questions about how much time they spent on the internet and what they used it for
They also completed the Beck Depression Inventory – a series of questions designed to measure the severity of depression.
The report, by the university's Institute of Psychological Sciences, said 18 of the people who completed the questionnaire – 1.4% of the total – were internet addicts.
"Our research indicates that excessive internet use is associated with depression, but what we don't know is which comes first – are depressed people drawn to the internet or does the internet cause depression?" the article's lead author, Dr Catriona Morrison, said.
"What is clear is that, for a small subset of people, excessive use of the internet could be a warning signal for depressive tendencies."
They also discovered that addicts spent proportionately more time browsing sexually gratifying websites, online gaming sites and online communities.
ok..my opinion,,THATS MAKE SENSE!!!!
for me,,this study reinforces the public speculation that over-engaging in websites will replace normal social function might be linked to psychological disorders like depression and addiction.
so,,i think sites like FACEBOOK n MYSPACE is not our real communication with our friends or people..this is because,,there are certain people,in FB,,they like a bestfriend,,always comment each other,like status n etc..
BUT,,when they meet at real world,,they seem like didnt know each other,,this is not REAL social networking!!!
hmm,,,we now need to consider the wider societal implications of this relationship and know clearly the effects of excessive internet use on mental health.