The Internet and Mental Health


Groundbreaking technologies are changing not only our daily lives and habits but also affect our perceptions, feelings, communication structures, and self-image. Never before, however, has the discussion of the impact of a technological development on mental health been as intense as it has been since the introduction of the internet.
One would expect psychiatric experts to take the lead in this discussion. In fact, however, most of the commentary by psychiatrists and psychologists seems to be influenced to a greater extent by their own attitudes towards modern technology than by empirical data and scientific insight. The problem is complex: Is it the internet itself, or is it the difficulty individuals have in adapting to this technology, or is it the social changes coupled with this technical development that can lead to exhaustion and depression? Based on scientifically sound findings, this research project sets out to address the great public interest in the question as to whether the “Internet” as a technological entity gives rise to or negatively influences mental illness.

Prof. Dr. Andreas Heinz, Charité Berlin
Dr. Jan Kalbitzer, Charité Berlin (project management)
Prof. Dr. Tobias Matzner, University of Tübingen
Prof. Dr. Thorsten Quandt, University of Münster