This study compared problematic Internet use (PIU) rates in 12- to 18-year-olds with major depressive disorder (MDD) and healthy controls and explored potential links between PIU and suicide among patients with MDD.Methods:
The study sample consisted of 120 patients with MDD (62.5% girls) and 100 controls (58% girls) with a mean age of 15. Suicide ideation and suicide attempts were evaluated, and sociodemographic data were collected. In addition, the Children's Depression Inventory, Young Internet Addiction Test and Suicide Probability Scale were applied.Results:
The results showed that PIU rates were significantly higher in the MDD cases than the controls (p < 0.001). The analysis of covariance results showed that there was no relationship between potential suicide and the Young Internet Addiction Test score in MDD cases. However, the hopelessness subscale scores of the MDD patients with PIU were significantly higher than the scores of those without PIU.Conclusion:
Our results show that PIU was higher in adolescents with MDD and hopelessness was more prevalent among MDD patients with PIU, but no links with potential suicide were found. As this study was a cross-sectional one, it did not allow us to infer a causality relationship between PIU and MDD.