560,000 people in Germany are addicted to the Internet

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More than half a million people in Germany are dependent on the Internet

Internet addiction is a widespread phenomenon that, according to the results of a recent study funded by the Federal Ministry of Health, is often also associated with other psychological problems "such as personality disorders, impulsiveness and attention disorders", reported the Federal Government Commissioner for Drugs Mechthild Dyckmans (FDP) in one Press release on Tuesday.

Overall, according to the results of the current study, around 560,000 people between the ages of 14 and 65 in Germany are internet-dependent, which corresponds to around one percent of the population in these years. The study was developed by the University of Lübeck with funding from the Federal Ministry of Health. According to the Federal Commissioner for Drugs, the internet addiction found affected not only online games but also social networks such as Facebook and Co. The study also showed that “internet addiction regardless of the type of excessive use has significant negative effects on social life is linked to incapacity to work, ”said the press release from the Federal Drugs Commissioner.

Men and women equally addicted to the Internet Respondents with internet addiction "37 percent stated that they mainly played online games, while another 37 percent of the addicts were active in social networks" and "27 percent used other internet applications", reports the drug commissioner Federal government. Overall, men and women are almost equally affected by internet addiction. "There are clear differences, however, in the type of excessive use of the Internet: While dependent computer games are primarily found in men, women are more dependent on the use of social networks," the press release from the Federal Drugs Commissioner continued. In order to determine whether there is an internet addiction, the researchers first used the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) criteria catalog published in 2013 from the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5)" for the internet game Disruption ("Internet Gaming Disorder").

Expanding prevention and therapy offerings against internet addiction According to the federal government's drug commissioner, "the study confirmed that the prevention and therapy offerings tailored to computer gamers need to be expanded and further developed." Mechthild Dyckmans also believes that in future the help offers should include special offers for female internet addicts and users of social networks are added. "The danger of developing excessive or dependent behavior when using social networks must be better considered," concluded the Federal Drugs Commissioner. (fp)

Image: Dieter Schütz / pixelio.de

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