Internet Addicts - causal depression and chemical imbalance cause obsessive internet use?


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"Internet addiction is just a reflection of anxiety, an absence of a sense of security, and a loss of traditional values and beliefs in the rapidly developing Chinese society," Dr Tao said.

South China Morning Post
May 27, 2005

Tao Ran, director of the centre which is linked to the Beijing Military Hospital, said all the patients had psychological problems. They suffered from anxiety and stress. Half were depressed, while compulsive behaviour and communication difficulties were also common. Regardless of their similarities or differences, medical experts say one thing all internet addicts share with each other - and other addicts - is a chemical imbalance in the brain.

An organic compound released when the mind is stimulated, 5-HT, transmits feelings of euphoria or depression throughout the body. When the compound is being secreted, it can trick the body into thinking it does not need sleep or food. 5-HT is addictive, meaning people experience withdrawal symptoms - such as sweating, an increased heart rate, anxiety, headaches and sore muscles - if the level of release is too low or irregular.