Digital addiction a psychiatric disorder: Experts

Zee Media Bureau

Singapore: Is your smartphone your best friend? Do you find it difficult to leave it even for a minute? Do you become restless when you have to part with it? Do you have constant cravings to check it every now and then? If your answer is yes, there is a huge chance that you have become an addict and you require professional help.

Psychiatrists say that the medical authorities worldwide need to formally recognise addiction to internet and digital devices as a disorder.Adrian Wang, a psychiatrist at the Gleneagles Medical Centre in Singapore, said that digital addiction should now be classified as a psychiatric disorder.

"Singaporeans spend an average of 38 minutes per session on Facebook, almost twice as long as Americans," revealed a study by Experian, a global information services company.

"Patients come for stress anxiety-related problems but their coping mechanism is to go online, go on to social media," Wang was quoted as saying in a South China Morning Post report.

Obsession with online gaming was the main manifestation in the past but addiction to social media and video downloading are now the trend.

In terms of physical symptoms, more people, especially young, are reporting "text neck" or "iNeck" pain."Many people have their heads lowered and are now using their mobile devices constantly on the go while queuing or even crossing the roads, leading to neck pain," psychiatrists said.

Digital addiction is defined by symptoms like inability to control craving, anxiety when separated from a smartphone, loss in productivity in studies or at work and the need to constantly check one's phone.

With Agency Inputs

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