Internet addiction on the rise

RUB » Press Office » Press release » Category misc » Press release No.164
No. 164 - Bochum, 02.10.2014

Internet addiction on the rise

Addicts often suffer from additional disorders

Depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and ADHS are most common concomitants

Internet addicts often suffer from concomitant disorders, most frequently from depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and ADHS. PD Dr med. Bert te Wildt studies this phenomenon at the Ruhr-Universität’s LWL Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy.

Spectrum of concomitant disorders similar to that in alcohol addicts

The researcher from Bochum has compiled a so-called comorbidity profile of 25 Internet addicts. Each patient presented at least one concomitant disorder. Together with his colleagues, Bert te Wildt examined 25 alcohol addicts for comparison. Their comorbidity profile was quite similar. However, only every other patient in this cohort suffered from a concomitant disorder. “These results highlight the significance of comorbidity for Internet addiction,” says te Wildt. He also points out: “This is not a one-way street, the disorders interact.” In another study, he found evidence that in a number of patients Internet addiction may be traced back to similar personality structures.

Large numbers presumably undetected

According to estimates, 500,000 Germans in the age bracket from 14 to 64 years suffer from Internet addiction, which most commonly takes the shape of online gaming addiction. The studies conducted by Bert te Wildt’s team at the media outpatient clinic in Bochum suggest that many cases remain undetected.

Detailed article in the science magazine RUBIN

A detailed article with pictures can be found in the online magazine RUBIN, the RUB’s science magazine: Text and images on the download page are free for use for editorial purposes, provided the relevant copyright notice is included. You would like to receive a notification when new RUBIN articles are published? Then subscribe to our news feed at

Editorial journalist

Dr. Julia Weiler
Press Office Ruhr University Bochum

Further information

PD Dr med. Bert te Wildt, Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, LWL University Clinic Bochum, Alexandrinenstr. 1-3, 44791 Bochum, Germany, phone: +49/234/5077-3120 or -3333