In the tech-driven world, smartphone is a revolutionary offering to people. Smartphone is called so because it is much more than a communication device. With facilities like internet and camera, many people use mobile phones as their workstation and others, especially young people, use them as a tool to remain in touch with their friends through various social media platforms.
The advantageous features of smartphones are countless. However, there is a flipside to it. People are getting hooked on such devices that is giving rise to health concerns like “mobile phone addiction” and related mental disorders. According to experts, nomophobia is a new health condition that has surfaced with the continuous use of smartphones. Nomophobia is the 21st century’s abbreviation used for the phrase “no mobile phone phobia” that explains the fear and stress caused when not having or being able to use smartphones.
As per experts, the constant use of smartphones not only causes vision problems, but also has a significant impact on the functioning of the brain. While the harmful radiations emitted by the devices are responsible for causing several health concerns, the constant hooking on them can trigger mental issues, such as depression and anxiety.
Similar to drug abuse, smartphone addiction is no longer limited to a particular age group. Although highly prevalent among teenagers, smartphone use and dependence is a growing fad even with adults and elder population. Today, smartphones are put into use for everything, starting from playing games, asking for direction, clicking photographs, sending emails, making video calls, and chatting to managing a website or running large scale business. Hence, there are multiple reasons for a person to remain hooked on his/her smartphone. However, the heavy use is causing more harm than benefits.
In a study conducted to analyze the depth of smartphone addiction among the population, researchers discovered that majority of participants of the study exhibited withdrawal symptoms when kept away from their smartphones. They experienced symptoms like an increase in heart rate and blood pressure, feelings of anxiety, and a decrease in self-reported extended self and cognition. “These findings suggest that negative psychological and physiological outcomes are associated with iPhone separation and the inability to answer one’s ringing iPhone during cognitive tasks,” authors of the study wrote in the Journal of Computer-mediated Communication.
However, the impact was found to be severe in case of teenagers and young adults. According to another study, recent years have recorded a significant rise in the incidence of depression and suicide in teenagers. The study identified new media screen time as an important modern risk factor for depression and suicide. “The rise in caseloads at the high school and university counseling centers may be caused by greater numbers of iGen adolescents experiencing mental health issues, perhaps due to the profound shifts in how adolescents spend their leisure time,” mentioned the study.
With the extent of dependency on smartphone, its use is inevitable. However, its excessive use can be controlled by avoiding some common things like constant presence on social media platforms, over the night chatting that disturbs sleeping pattern, and using them at the time of leisure. Additionally, introducing few disciplines for using smartphones and practicing experiential therapies, such as yoga can also help in maintaining a phone-life balance.
However, if you or your loved one is suffering from smartphone addiction and experiencing mental issues like depression, seek immediate medical help. Contact the Arizona Mental Health Helpline to know about the evidence-based treatment for psychiatric disorders. You can call at our 24/7 helpline number (866) 606-7791 or chat online with our expert to connect with one of the best mental health treatment centers in Arizona.