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Pfeiffer-Gerschel, T.; Seidscheck, I.; Niedermeier, N. and Hegerl, Ulrich (2005): Suizid und Internet. In: Verhaltenstherapie, No. 1: pp. 20-26 [PDF, 200kB]


The number of people aged 14 and older that use the Internet in Germany has doubled to 35.7 millions (55.3%) since the year 2000. The Internet also more and more expands into the domain of psychiatry and psychotherapy, and is used by psychiatric patients for information, communication and therapeutic purposes. Nevertheless, the infinite possibilities of the World Wide Web are linked with several advantages and disadvantages. Easily accessible information, numerous opportunities for exchange among like-minded people and therapeutic support from online therapies are juxtaposed with such risks as frequently lacking quality and transparency of the available information, possible enhancement of social withdrawal and certain Websites concerning suicide. If the mentioned risks of the Internet rather provoke new problems and trigger suicidality or if the chance of an easily accessible online discussion rather results in mental relief cannot be answered generally.

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