“Get off the mobile and go outside” – are these words being heard more commonly nowadays than at any point in time before? Humanity has just stepped into one of the newest psychiatric disorders. What is worse is that the medical world is divided on whether this should be considered as a disorder, or simply be passed off as a generation gap. Let us look a little deeper about the disorder.
Only recently did Internet addiction and phone addiction became a part of the diagnostic and statistical manual of the mental disorders i.e. 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 a medium when he is no longer required to. Simply put, it becomes an obsessive habit on part of the person to look into his/her 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/her time on the internet and mobile.
As of now, only two countries, South Korea and China have identified the disorder, and treatments are administered. Europe and the United States have also categorised it as a disorder, and research is being done on it. The general treatment plan that exists presently, aims to understand the patient first. The psychiatric treatment tries to successfully bridge the user and his/her addiction. From practicing different times of using the internet, to suggesting new schedules and goals, the person can be slowly be eased back into society. The purpose of psychiatric intervention is not to block the internet/ mobile usage completely, but to limit it. A person is educated to get his satisfaction in other forms, like relationships, outdoor activities.
Though still in its early stages, the medical world has made it clear that its contribution towards these mental addictions would increase many fold in the very near future.