Internet use among persons with common mental disorders: A qualitative study : Industrial Psychiatry Journal

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Internet use among persons with common mental disorders

A qualitative study

Sood, Mamta; Pendse, Sachin1; Sharma, Mona R.; Chawla, Nishtha; Chadda, Rakesh K.

Author Information
Industrial Psychiatry Journal ():, May 19, 2023. | DOI: 10.4103/ipj.ipj_55_22
  • Open
  • PAP


Aims and Objectives 

To assess the current patterns and experience of internet use among persons with depressive and anxiety disorders, particularly for health-related issues.


In-depth interviews were conducted with persons diagnosed with depressive and anxiety disorders (DSM-5), aged ≥18 years who could read and write in Hindi/English, using an interview guide. The interview guide contained questions related to internet use in daily life, internet use for health-related issues, and internet use for stress, and internet use for anxiety/depressive disorder. Interview data were transcribed and analyzed to identify codes and subsequently themes.


A total of 20 subjects; 10 each diagnosed with depressive and anxiety disorders were interviewed. About half the participants could operate internet independently, while rest required assistance. YouTube was the most common search engine used, and leisure was the most common reason for daily use. Almost all participants reported searching internet for health-related information including their psychiatric diagnosis. The most common purpose, for health in-general, was searching for alternate therapies. Most common purpose for psychiatric diagnosis was understanding the symptoms, recovery from their illness, and side effects of medicines. Highest impact as perceived by the participants was on distraction or stress reduction rather than direct impact on the illness/treatment.


Persons with depressive and anxiety disorders use internet for distraction, communication, and seeking information about the illness and medicines.

© 2023 Industrial Psychiatry Journal | Published by Wolters Kluwer – Medknow