Introduction Today, millions of people in the United States suffer from anxiety and anxietyrelated disorders. From general anxiety disorder (GAD) to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), this growing mental health crisis has been only marginally examined by social scientists studying eHealth or the Internet. This particular chapter examines how those suffering from mental illness and anxiety engage the Internet across the life course. The life course approach for understanding the role of the Internet relative to mental health suffering is particularly valuable because many people experience heightened illness effects during certain periods or around events tied to particular life stages. Sometimes events can happen at any life stage (e.g. abuse), and other events are directly tied to a particular life period (e.g. military involvement) - though these events happen differentially across time periods, they have an acute impact on mental health. Child labour is an example of an experience that is particularly tied to certain life stage and has been clearly linked to some illnesses related to anxiety (Lochner et al., 2002, Vasconcelos et al., 2007). Thus, a focus on the life course and the role of the Internet for support across periods is particularly germane to understanding mental health and the role of the Internet in anxiety’s evolution over time.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Sciences(all)