ABSTRACT- INTERNET has been an effective part of our lives. If used congruously it actually helps us to flourish but fast growth and easy access had some really bad consequences on our health and lifestyle. As a 90’s kid we can easily differentiate the life before and after the INTERNET ERA. We were more connected, more productive both mentally and physically, were more in harmony and were obviously less stressful. It is really a high time now to focus on this on growing threat as this over usage of Internet is seriously impacting our lives in such a poisonous way that we can’t even
KEYWORDS- Internet, Addiction, Depression, Mental Health, Homeopathy, Maintaining cause.
INTRODUCTION- In recent years the question regarding the existence of INTERNET ADDICTION came
into the world more frequently. What exactly is Internet Addiction? Does it really exit? And if it does exist who are the people actually addicted to it? (GRIFFETHS, INTERNET ADDICTION: FACT OR FICTION, 1999)
The major aim of this article is to highlight the on going trend of our dependency on Internet and to know how we are actually deteriorating our health and life in almost all the sphere by using it so ruthlessly.
Is Internet Addiction similar to Drug Addiction?
According to the studies, students across the globe admitted being “addicted” to modern technology such as mobile phones, laptops and television as well as social networking such as Facebook and Twitter.
(HOUGH, 2011) NETFLIX, Instagram or PUBG including other online games are adding more into the fire. We are getting too much dependent on them that we can’t imagine our lives without them and that’s what we called as ADDICTION. The impact is really deleterious affecting our mental health specifically and lifestyle, making us more obsessive about everything around us.
It actually makes us disconnected from the present moment and we start to live a hypothetical life. It’s like a malignant disease that keeps on evolving in our body and comes into notice only at the last stage. We really need some strict, logical and instant action to control this noxious situation as the degree of dependency is getting high day by day in population of almost all the ages.
WHAT EXACTLY IS INTERNET ADDICTION?
Internet addiction is characterised by excessive or poorly controlled preoccupations, urges or behaviour regarding computer use and internet access that lead to impairment or distress. (MARTHA SHAW, 2008)
The questions are explored by examining the core components of addictions (i.e. salience, mood
modification, tolerance withdrawal, conflict, relapse) and then relating them to excessive internet use. Taking all the case studies and survey evidence together, it can be argued that excessive usage in a majority of cases appears to be purely symptomatic (i.e. the internet is being used as a tool to engage in other types of rewarding behaviour, like being in a relationship). (1)
IS INTERNET ADDICTION A PSYCHIC DISORDER?
Currently, there is no recognition of INTERNET ADDICTION within the spectrum of Addictive Disorders and therefore, no corresponding diagnosis. It has, however been proposed for inclusion in the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. (AVIV WEINSTEIN, 2010) Coupled with the rise in popularity and usage, there have been a growing number of reports in the popular press about excessive use of the internet under the guise of “INTERNET ADDICTION DISORDER” (IAD) and “INTERNET ADDICTION SYNDROME” (IAS). (GRIFFETHS, 2000)
IS THERE ANY RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN DEPRESSION AND INTERNET ADDICTION?
Prior research has utilized the Zung Depression Inventory (ZDI) and found that moderate to severe
rates of depression coexist with pathological Internet use. An online survey administered on a World Wide Web site utilized the BDI as part of a larger study. A total of 312 surveys was collected with 259 valid profiles from addicted users, which again supported significant levels of depression to be associated with pathological Internet use. (KIMBERLY S YOUNG, 1998)
Other than Depression observations say that over usage of Internet may results into Compulsive disorders, Stress reactions, Mania, Mood Disorders, Anxiety and even Insomnia. A valid and reliable assessment is required to confirm the diagnosis. One of the frequently used one is Young’s Internet Addiction Test. (MAN KIT CHANG) It includes questionnaire that helps us to
reach any conclusion. We can conduct such assessments in schools, colleges, societies or offices to
get the exact reports.
HOW TO CONTROL OURSELVES?
Most of us can easily control our usage habits and reduce our dependency on Internet. Strong will and patience will really help us to get into the natural position.
*DIGITAL DETOX – Try to use your gadgets only at specific time. You can try to switch of your internet on a holiday. Spend that time with your family and friends, go explore your surroundings. You can use that time to organise your room or trying anything of your interest like cooking, painting, dancing running or sports! It’s important to disconnect to be productive. (KAUSHIK, 2020)
*TRACK YOUR TIME- Keep a check on how much you are actually using your gadgets. Try to make it less and more less. Make your day more productive. Concentrate more on your work rather than being online. It works like a diary, allowing you to see exactly how you’ve been spending time. (SHIVANGI*, 2015)
*BAN ADDICTIVE SITES- Try to identify the most addictive sites it can be anything like shopping sites or games, social media or pornography. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter everything. Instead go back to
basics. Use email! You can really feel that difference.
*SAY YES TO FACE TO FACE COMMUNICATION- Want to talk just go and have face to face communication rather than texting. This will really improve your relationships and will make it stronger and real. People now a days send messages even to the persons living in the same home. Try to avoid that. We know where and when to use mobile phones. (SHIVANGI*, 2015)
HOMEOPATHY AND INTERNET ADDICTION- As we all know that homeopathy believes in the overall cure rather than just removing the symptoms of the patient. It actually works out marvellously if the maintaining cause is also removed that will lead us to that perfect cure. In cases of INTERNET ADDICTION, homeopathy can play a significant role by enhancing the process of cure for conditions like Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insomnia or OCD included the minimization of excessive usage Internet.
CONCLUSION- The Internet itself is a neutral device originally designed to facilitate the process. Addictive use of the Internet is a new phenomenon which many practitioners are unaware of and subsequently unprepared to treat. The purpose of this article is to create awareness among the population about Internet Addiction and to enable the clinicians to better detect
and treat the patient. Restricting your technology usage will really help you to be more productive,
healthy and stress free. You can improve your Mental Health and can make yourself more connected to the reality. Notice the negative impact of excessive usage of Internet in your lives and try to make the difference.
Always remember anything used judiciously is helpful and helps us to grow but if used in excess can leads us to destruction.
1- Internet addiction: fact or fiction? By Mark Griffeths, The Psychologist, 1999
2- Student addiction to technology similar to drug cravings by Andrew Hough. The Telegraph 8,2011.
3- Internet Addiction, Martha Shaw, Donald W Black, CNS drug 22(5), 353-365,2008
4- Internet Addiction or Excessive Internet Usage, Aviv Weinstein, Michel Lejoyeux, The American
Journal of Drug and alcohol abuse. 36(5), 277-283, 2010.
5- Internet Addiction- time to be taken Seriously? Mark Griffeths, Addiction Research 8(5), 413-
6- The relationship between depression and Internet addiction, Kimberly S Young, Robert C Rogers,
Cyberpsychology & behaviour 1 (1), 25-28, 1998
7- Factor structure for Young’s Internet Addiction Test by Man Kit Chang, Sally Pui Man Law
8- The Times of India news article #MentalHealthMatters: It’s time for Digital Detox
by Divya Kaushik |TNN| Jan 2,2020,01:00 IST
9- Relationship between Psychological Aspects and Internet Addiction: A Review, Shivangi Maurya*,
Dr K N Singh** J.Adv.Res.Ayur.Yoga Unani Sidd. Homeo.2015;2(1):16-19
Dr Sudipti Singh
MD PART 1
Department of Psychiatry
Father Muller Homeopathic Medical College.