Cyber addiction interferes with sleep

Cyber addiction affects grades, careers, jobs, and relationships because it is not just focused on browsing or spending excessive amounts of time on social media. It also includes time spent playing games, gambling, compulsively checking phones, or simply hanging out with online friends rather than real friends.

Without self-control, cyber addiction is a problem that is only going to get worse. Regardless of age, a large number of us are addicted to the internet and constantly looking forward, which is bad for both our physical and mental health. The fact that the majority of us are unaware of the consequences one experiences is also one of the riskier aspects of this.

Cyber addiction affects grades, careers, jobs, and relationships because it is not just focused on browsing or spending excessive amounts of time on social media. It also includes time spent playing games, gambling, compulsively checking phones, or simply hanging out with online friends rather than real friends.

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IANSlife chats with Dr Paula Goel, Consultant Pediatrician, Adolescent Physician, and the Founder of Fayth Clinic, and she says, "Cyber addiction has been included in Section 3 of the DSM-V, which is reserved for medical conditions that require further investigation prior to being designated as a separate category of disorder. Recommends the following diagnostic criteria that are required for a diagnosis of Cyber Addiction:

Spends too much time online (thinks about the previous online activity or anticipates the next online session).

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In order to be satisfied, they must spend more time using the internet.

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Has made fruitless attempts to regulate, curtail, or stop Internet use.

When trying to reduce or stop using the internet, becomes agitated, moody, melancholy, or irritable.

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Has been online longer than anticipated. In addition, at least one of the following requirements must be met.

Has endangered or run the risk of losing a significant relationship, job, the opportunity for education, or career because of the internet

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Has lied to relatives, a therapist, or others to hide how often they use the internet.

Uses the internet to get away from issues or to lift a depressing mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)

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Is any particular age group more prone to cyber addiction?

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Dr Paula: Can occur in any age group but is more common in male adolescents 15-16 years of age

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What may be the probable cause of cyber addiction?

Dr Paula: There are different causes, the comprehensive model of the development and maintenance of internet addiction by Winkler and Dorsing takes into account

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Socio-cultural factors (e.g., demographic factors, access to and acceptance of the Internet), Neuro-anatomical factors Research suggests that people with Internet addiction have alterations in the brain similar to those individuals with an addiction to drugs or gambling habit. There are changes in the prefrontal cortex of the brain which is associated with attention, planning, and prioritizing. Hence people with addictions place their addictions before basic everyday things, like eating or sleeping.

Biological vulnerabilities.g., genetic factors, and abnormalities in neurochemical processes decrease the levels of the dopamine and serotonin transmitters in the brain more than that of the general population. Addictions would increase the levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain.

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Psychological predispositions (e.g., personality characteristics, negative effects)

Specific attributes of the Internet-excessive engagement in Internet activities especially on social media platforms

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What are the effects of cyber addiction - on health, social life, career, and academics?

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Dr Paula: Spending long hours leads to losing track of time online and staying longer than intended. This can also cause physical discomfort, such as carpal tunnel syndrome (pain and numbness in hands and wrists); Dry eyes or strained vision; Backaches, neck aches, or severe headaches; Sleep disturbances; Pronounced weight gain or weight loss Depression and anxiety Mood swings with Guilt feelings and also feelings of euphoria while using the Internet as an outlet when stressed or sad, or for sexual gratification or excitement.

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