Addiction, Psychopathologies (Depression and Anxiety) and Dysfunctional Beliefs

Well, when you think you start to get in front and you stuff up again....Addictions!! This is harder than I thought. Transfer one addiction to another?

Although the Internet has accelerated and has facilitating effects on most aspects of our lives, internet addiction is one of the negative results of this technology. Internet addiction (IA), which is associated with an individual's loss of control over their Internet use, is considered to be a health problem requiring attention. It is considered that IA is linked to several psychopathologies. Previous studies have identified that university students show a range of psychopathologic features (somatization, depression, anxiety, paranoid ideation, hostility, interpersonal sensitivity, obsessive-compulsive specifications) are much more frequent in adolescents with IA. Recently, Adalıer and Balkan (2015), found that several symptoms related to psychopathologic features are much more prevalent in adolescents with IA than in those without IA. Moreover, in studies analysing psychiatric comorbidity in IA, it was found that psychopathologies
such as ADHD, depression (more than half of all Internet addicts seeking treatment have depressive symptoms), schizophrenia and OCD accompany IA.

Dysfunctional attitudes (DA) used to evaluate a depressive individual's prevailing negative attitudes are associated with the self, the outer world, and the future, and compose an important part of Beck's dysfunctional cognitive items (Weissman & Beck, 1978). This is why Weissman and Beck developed the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale to analyse dysfunctional attitudes, and this scale has frequently been used in the literature to discuss dysfunctional beliefs which are strongly related to dysfunctional schemas. This scale, which is used especially for the aim of evaluating the predisposition of individuals towards depressive symptoms, analyses negative thoughts, negative emotional schemas and negative beliefs in the framework of a perfectionist attitude and a need for approval basically. Besides this, it is reported that DA is linked with many psychologic factors, such as approval, love, success, right, afford, autonomy and anaclitic self-esteem, which are necessary regarding cognitive therapy.

There are a considerable number of studies reporting a significant relationship between changes in DAS and depressive symptoms. It was found that DA is an important factor particularly in patients with depression, that DA may contribute to the development of depression along with environmental stress factors, and that DA is decreased during the process of depression treatment. Moreover, it is known that depressive symptoms have significant effects on many addictions. Despite this, it can be said that there are not so many studies in the literature on the interaction between addiction and dysfunctional attitudes.

In a recent study (2016) undertaken at Teaching and Research Hospital, Bursa, Turkey,two hundred and twelve university students were included in their study on internet addiction, psychopathologies and dysfunctional behaviour. The subjects were assessed using the Internet Addiction Scale (IAS), the Symptom Checklist (SCL-90) and the Dysfunctional Attitude Scale (DAS). The subjects were divided into three groups according to the IAS, which was conducted to screen
for IA: no addiction, mild and moderate/high addiction. 108 (50.9%) of the subjects were found to have no addiction, 70 (33.01%) to have a mild addiction and 34 (16.03%) to have a moderate/high addiction. Psychopathological symptoms and dysfunctional attitudes increase with the severity of IA. In addition to
the psychopathologic features, dysfunctional attitudes have limited effects on explaining the IA. In the cognitive-behavioural treatment of IA, focusing on a perfectionist attitude and a need for approval, which are part of a dysfunctional attitude, may be beneficial.

The need for approval in DAS is considered to be a pattern associated with addiction. Need for approval and high reward dependence were found to be correlated with healthy subjects. The fact that the Internet is easily accessible and that it is easily possible to avoid feelings of loneliness thanks to social networks may be an enabler for Internet addiction. Nevertheless, attitudes of the need for approval associated with addiction increase with negative life events and may be predisposing for internet addiction.

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