Internet Depression

Depression is a serious illness that interferes with daily life. The person experiences varying severity of anxiety, sadness, and restlessness. According to the National institute of Mental Health, other symptoms identifying depression include difficulty concentrating, loss of interest in activities once enjoyable, insomnia, overeating and thoughts of suicide. This disorder can completely consume a person’s life, as they become a shadow of their former self. It also has negative effects on their families and friends as they try to provide them with the support and care they need so that they can continue on with their lives as normally as possible.

This article involves the study of how Internet users exhibit signs of depression. They surveyed 216 undergraduate students at Missouri University of Science and Technology with a depression test and monitored how they used the Internet without actually spying on what or whom they were emailing. They found that the participants that scored high in the depression test actively used their email, which psychologists believed to indicate high levels of anxiety. They would also constantly switch between emailing, chatting, and playing games, which indicated difficulty concentrating. This article informs and helps the reader become aware of how they use the Internet, which can show signs that indicate depression. Through this study, they were able to develop software that can monitor these acts and warn the user so that they can seek treatment and counseling that will prevent their condition from getting worse.

This article pertains to the ethical principle of autonomy, as the individual makes the final decision on whether or not they would want to be treated with depression after being monitored and showing symptoms. A social determinant of health is stress because finding that their Internet usage indicates depression will affect their mentality and result in them showing more symptoms of that disorder, worsening their condition. Also, using the Internet consistently is also an addiction that results in the person lacking food and sleep as they obsess over their social network so they keep checking it. Health care providers such as psychologists help diagnose depression but not everyone would go out of their way to meet one. As described in the article, having the software will make the users aware and therefore seek help from a health care provider. The software can also count as a form of public health policy that can be enforced by the government at schools to monitor cases of depression.