A recent report from the Hindustani Times highlights a growing problem, not only in India, but in Singapore and other areas of the world. Children and teenagers are suffering from “gadget addiction.” They struggle to find satisfaction and fulfilment in real life, preferring instead to spend hours playing video games.

What is Gadget Addiction?

According to Dr. Sandeep Grover, a psychiatrist at the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER), ” We consider a person to be a gadget addict when he/she spends much more than the required time on a gadget.” He explains that a person is addicted when the gadget’s usage “compromises other aspects of life, and one cannot tolerate its removal.”

A Story of Teenage Digital Addiction

One family disclosed their story of gadget addiction to the Hindustani Times. Their son started gaming on smartphones as a child, without many restrictions or limitations on screen time. Eventually, the boy became so mesmerised with the virtual world that the real world began to seem bland and boring. He craved the experience of video gaming, pursuing the pastime for 8-10 hours every day.

At one point, the teen was skipping classes to find extra time for gaming. He stole his parents’ items and sold them to get more money for new video games. He lied about his habits and spent time away from home, gaming with friends.

Finally, his parents banned him from leaving the house to game with friends. The teen then turned to mobile gaming, pursuing it constantly. His parents cut that off as well, and he became frustrated, aggressive, and violent towards them.

In desperation, the parents looked to the psychiatry department of the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research. They had to eliminate all smartphones, tablets, and computers from their home so as not to feed their son’s addiction.

Symptoms of Gadget Dependence or Addiction

Dr. Sandeep Grover says, “This is a unique case, which shows how addictive these gadgets can be.” Not every family will have this same experience with a child, but many may struggle to a lesser extent. Children can be drawn into the online world through social media, games, digital forums, and more dangerous activities like hacking.

For children and teens who are too deeply involved with their gadgets, symptoms begin to appear. The teen may spend hours with a phone, tablet, or computer. He or she may become very self-centred and anti-social. Emotional detachment and lack of interest in the family may occur, and the teen may stop participating in activities with family members and friends. School grades suffer as the young person loses all motivation to succeed in the real world.

Breaking Free from Digital Addiction

At Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic, we can help with all kinds of addictive behaviours. If there is a young person in your life who is struggling to let go of the digital world on a daily basis, make an appointment with one of our Singapore psychiatrists. At our clinic, you’ll find that we create a personalised blend of therapy, counselling, or medication for each patient, depending on that person’s unique struggles and needs. Every session is confidential, taking place in a warm and welcoming environment. With the right intervention by one of the top psychiatrists in Singapore, your child or teen can learn to balance the use of technology with a zest for real-life adventure and achievement.

News Feed from Adelphi Psych Medicine Clinic

Source: Hindustani Times, Feb 6, 2017