Psychologists from Leed University have linked excessive Internet use to depression. Their study on Internet addiction found "striking" evidence that addictive surfing can have a serious impact on the mental health of users, as some Internet users develop compulsive habits and replace real-world interaction with virtual forms such as chat rooms and social networking.
Dr. Catriona Morrison said excessive Internet use is associated with depression, but it's unknown whether depressed people are drawn to the Internet or does the Internet cause depression.
The study's lead author, Dr. Catriona Morrison, said, "The internet now plays a huge part in modern life, but its benefits are accompanied by a darker side. While many of us use the internet to pay bills, shop and send emails, there is a small subset of the population who find it hard to control how much time they spend online, to the point where it interferes with their daily activities."
According to the study, these internet addicts spend much more time visiting websites that are sexually gratifying, online gaming sites, and online communities. Users spending more time browsing sites of those types were more likely to have moderate to severe depression.