Teens Who Spend Too Much Time Doing This One Thing Have A Higher Suicide Risk

Young people who use the internet for more than five hours a day are at a greater risk for suicide, new research has found.

Pathological internet use, being a victim of bullying and a lack of treatment in the case of antidepressants have been identified as key factors of suicide among adolescents, according to the America Academy of Pediatrics (APP).

Ben Shain, PhD and author of the report, "Suicide And Suicide Attempts in Adolescents," has highlighted the devastating effect the online world can have on young people.

He said,

Self-reported daily use of video games and internet exceeding five hours is strongly associated with higher levels of depression and suicidality in adolescents.

Dr Shain went on to explain that suicide-related searches are also associated with suicides among young adults:

Pro-suicide websites and online suicide pacts facilitate suicidal behavior, with adolescents and young adults at particular risk.

Other online factors include cyber-bulling and learning of another's suicide online. This information is available via online news sites (44 percent), social networking sites (25 percent), online discussion forums (15 percent) and video websites (15 percent).

Dr Shain added,

Social networking sites, in particular, may reveal information on others' suicidality that would not otherwise be available. Fortunately, exposure to information from social networking sites does not appear related to changes in suicidal ideation, likely because increased exposure is mitigated by greater social support.

The original report was published in 2007. Dr Shain updated it with these new findings, and it was published by the APP today.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for adolescents in the US between the ages of 15 and 19.

For 24/7 emotional support, contact The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.