Thursday, February 04, 2010

Study links excessive internet use to depression

Good to see some skepticism about the direction of causation

PEOPLE who spend a lot of time surfing the internet are more likely to show signs of depression, British scientists said today. But it is not clear whether the internet causes depression or whether depressed people are drawn to it.

Psychologists from Leeds University found what they said was "striking" evidence that some avid net users develop compulsive internet habits in which they replace real-life social interaction with online chat rooms and social networking sites. "This study reinforces the public speculation that over-engaging in websites that serve to replace normal social function might be linked to psychological disorders like depression and addiction," the study's lead author, Catriona Morrison, wrote in the journal Psychopathology. "This type of addictive surfing can have a serious impact on mental health."

In the first large-scale study of Western young people to look at this issue, the researchers analysed internet use and depression levels of 1,319 Britons aged between 16 and 51. Of these, 1.2 percent were "internet addicted", they concluded. These "internet addicts" spent proportionately more time browsing sexually gratifying websites, online gaming sites and online communities, Morrison said. They also had a higher incidence of moderate to severe depression than normal users.

"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?," 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."

Morrison noted that while the 1.2 percent figure for those classed as "addicts" was small, it was larger than the incidence of gambling in Britain, which is around 0.6 percent.


Laser zaps fat instantly without scars: "Scientists have invented a laser which zaps away fat cells instantly. The Sun reports patients using the technique can drop two dress sizes in just two weeks - without having to exercise or diet. The painless Zerona treatment costs $1500 for six 40-minute sessions. It works via a laser that passes over the skin and ruptures fat cells, which are expelled from the body. The procedure has been used by US stars to quickly slim for upcoming events as no recovery time is needed and there are no scars. "It's the invention every woman has been waiting for," Tatiana Karelina, who runs the Laser Lounge in Kensington, West London, said. US safety regulator the Food and Drug Administration found the average patient lost nine centimetres from the waist, hips, and thighs. Some lost 23cm. However, the laser doesn't work on obese people - as it can't cut through the layers of fat." [Sounds dubious]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

John, Check this out, it's saying that your genetics determine how you respond to exercise and can keep you from burning off the fat pretty much as you've been saying all along.