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Internet & Phone Addiction - Can It Be A Sign Of A Medical Condition?

Written and reviewed by
MBBS, DPM
Psychiatrist, Ranchi  •  10 years experience
Internet & Phone Addiction - Can It Be A Sign Of A Medical Condition?

"Get off the mobile and go outside," are these words being heard more commonly nowadays, than at any other point in time in life? The answer could be frighteningly real as humanity has just stepped in one of the newest forms of a psychiatric disorder. What's worse is that the medical world is divided whether if this should be considered as a disease and separate field to be dedicated to it or simply pass it off as a generation growth that the future has to embrace.

Let us look a little deeper about the disorder and the serious nature that it indicates.

What is internet & phone addiction?
Only recently did Internet addition and phone addition become part of the diagnostic and statistical manual of the mental disorder - Meaning that internet addiction is now effectively considered a psychiatric disorder and there are chances of identifying and treating it using medically approved means. As the name suggests, internet addiction and phone addiction means that the person is using his creative and designated time on the medium when he is no longer required to. Simply put it becomes an obsessive habit on the part of the person to look into the phone and use the internet as a routine activity. Long-term addiction can lead to many psychological factors such as withdrawal symptoms, depression, and general loss of awareness about the surroundings. For most people, the syndrome can be an underlying factor of an even more severe health condition that the person is trying to mask by whiling away his time with the internet and the mobile. Across the people who get affected by it, the common traits are the internet gaming and social media.

The addiction in today’s world:
The velocity of the disorder is yet to take on the world. As of now only two countries- South Korea and China have identified the disorder as a disease and treatments are administered. Europe and United States have just categorized it as a disorder and research is being done on it. The general treatment plan that exists now aims to understand the patient first. The psychiatric treatment tries to successfully make a minor bridge between the user and his addiction. From practicing different time of using the internet to suggesting new schedules and goals, the person can be slowly be eased backed into the society. The purpose of the psychiatric treatment is not to block the internet/ mobile usage completely but to limit them. A person is educated to get his satisfaction in other forms like relations ships, outdoor activities than to depend on the internet. Apart from it some depression reducing drugs can also be had at the insistence of the psychiatrist.

Medical Possibilities
Professors argue that Internet addiction and mobile addiction is not exactly a disease. It simply determines an underlying medical condition of a person that needs more treatment. Though still in its early stages the medical world has made it clear that its contribution towards these mental addictions would increase by massive miles within the turn of the decade. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

 

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