Internet Addiction Associated With Self-Harm Behavior

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A recent study conducted in China found that Internet addiction among adolescents is related to self-harm tendencies. The study, published in the December 3, 2009, issue of Injury Prevention, surveyed 1,618 students aged 13-18, and found that about 10% were addicted to the Internet, with .6% considered "seriously addicted." For teens with Internet addiction, being online relieved feelings of depression and anxiety felt when they weren't connected to the Internet. These teens reported being twice as likely to hurt themselves as teens not addicted to the Internet, and were also more likely to harm themselves in more dangerous ways.

Whether Internet addiction is a true disorder is unclear, but excessive usage of the Internet has also been linked to feelings of hopelessness and other psychiatric symptoms in adolescents. The increasing availability of the Internet worldwide has made the concept of Internet addiction a subject of scientific study.

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