In the 21st Century, our lives are ever dependent on technology to function in day to day life. Practically everyone has a computer or smartphone of some kind, and the amount of time we spend on our electronic devices could be considered unhealthy – especially when it comes to our phones.
Using social media and gaming apps on our phones can be great way to pass the time when in between appointments or responsibilities, but for some, passing the time on a smartphone can become a full time job that doesn’t pay. A large number of people use their phone hundreds of times throughout the day, a habit that can become an addiction.
Experts argue that Internet addiction has become a serious issue, a problem that can have a negative effect on a person’s life, NBC News reports. Psychologists have seen a dramatic rise in patients struggling with digital addiction.
“The negative consequences at their extreme are failing to fulfill social and work obligations,” Karin Kassab explained, a psychologist at Clarity Counseling Center in Wilmington. “These are the Facebook moms who forget to put their kids to bed or forget to pick their kids up from school. The online gamers who are spending so much time gaming that they lose their job and move back home. When we are talking Internet addiction, it is important to note, this is excessive Internet use at its extreme. The tokens are excessive Internet use and big problems at work, school or socially.”
Some experts, including Kassab, are not entirely convinced that digital addictions are real disorders, but rather methods of escape from other mental illness, according to the article. However, she will treat patients who are exhibiting symptoms of digital addiction.
At the moment, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not classify Internet addiction as a diagnosis for addiction or treatment.
“There’s great debate over whether Internet addiction is actually its own stand alone disorder or if it is a consequence of a co-occurring disorder,” Kassab said. “So, am I depressed therefore that manifests into me staying in, being isolated on the Internet?”
At Synergy Group Services we offer individualized treatment plans for addiction recovery.