Study Finds Internet Addicts, Substance Abusers Suffer Similar Withdrawal Symptoms

Study Finds Internet Addicts, Substance Abusers Suffer Similar Withdrawal Symptoms

Study Finds Internet Addicts, Substance Abusers Suffer Similar Withdrawal Symptoms

Study Finds Internet Addicts, Substance Abusers Suffer Similar Withdrawal SymptomsIt’s been well documented that individuals suffering from various psychological issues are more apt to form addictions. Like drugs and pornography, the Internet is becoming a common addiction. A recent study found that not only do people with maladaptive behavior like ADHD, autism, low self-esteem and depression spend more time on the Internet, but their behavior after using the Internet is surprising.

Researchers performed basic testing on a group of 60 adults, men and women, and allowed the subjects to spend 15 minutes on the Internet. Lead researcher, Michela Romano of the University of Milan in Italy, tested the participants for anxiety, autism, depression, addiction and psychosis. The same tests were performed before and after logging on.

Ramano’s results showed a big difference between those who were addicted to the Internet and those who weren’t. Individuals with addictive traits demonstrated  symptoms of depression, impulsive behavior and autistic characteristics. But the most noted behavior was the big dips in their moods after they turned away from the Internet. Subjects without addictions did not have the same reaction.

While more research needs to be done, Ramano’s study suggests that those struggling with addiction turn to the Internet for comfort. Like other addicts, Internet addictions feed a part of the brain that enhances moods and positive feelings despite their negative effects.

Her findings also unveil a double-edge sword, one that raises the question of a relationship between autism and Internet addiction. Those with autism tend to be more isolated, which leads them to the Internet. The same can be said for those suffering from depression. Isolation is a key factor in each of these people, making the Internet a viable option for them.

Yet one of the biggest conclusions of the study was the fact that Internet addiction may not be more prevalent in men, as previously thought. The male and female test subjects were split down the middle when it came to Internet addictions. This provides some critical insight into addictive behavior moving forward.

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