How Does Internet Addiction Affect Mental Health?
The immediate effects could be a lack of focus and mood swings that could go on to develop into the signs of depression.
We say there’s a huge generation gap between the millennials and previous generations. Well, the biggest difference is apparent in the over-reliance on the internet.
The boomer generation, as the internet calls, are frowned upon due to the over-usage of the Internet.
But how does internet addiction affect mental health?
This has emerged as a major concern as the World Wide Web continues to take over control of our lives.
Interestingly, finding out the Biological Effects of Addiction on the Brain is of high importance. Your brain, as long as it’s hooked to the internet, responds in the same way as it would to drugs.
Let’s check out how internet addiction plays a role when it comes to mental health and well-being.
Symptoms of Internet Addiction
Table of Contents
- 1 Symptoms of Internet Addiction
- 2 How Does Internet Addiction Affect Mental Health?
- 3 Causes of Internet Addiction
- 4 The Negative Effects of Internet Addiction on Mental Health
- 4.1 #1. Inability to Focus
- 4.2 #2. Irritable Communications
- 4.3 #3. Drastic Mood Swings
- 4.4 #4. Sleeplessness (Insomnia)
- 4.5 #5. Depression
- 4.6 #6. Suicidal Thoughts
- 4.7 #7. Impede Development of Cognitive Skill
- 4.8 #8. Severe Headaches
- 4.9 #9. Loss in Appetite
- 4.10 #10. Weight Gain
- 4.11 #11. Weak Eyesight
- 4.12 #12. Premature Ageing
- 5 Overcoming Internet Addiction: Remedial Steps
These could be some signs that you may be experiencing.
Obviously, Overcoming Addiction gets easy as soon as you start to recognize the signs:
- Coping emotions through the Internet
- Disregard for people around you
- An abrupt change in sleep or eating schedule
- Excessive dependency on the internet
- Anxiety without gadgets or internet
- Excessive anger
- Frequent headaches
How Does Internet Addiction Affect Mental Health?
Internet addiction is no joke. On average, 70% of teens are hooked to the internet. The adults are in the race too.
It is a dangerous coping mechanism. People nowadays are less interactive.
Hence, their solace lies in the virtual world. Parents don’t have time for the kids and the pals are just as addicted.
It makes sense why people prefer it over human interaction, though. Here are the best possible explanations.
Causes of Internet Addiction
These are the most common motivating factors behind internet addiction:
#1. Rewarding Satisfaction
The most common rushes receive instant entertainment. It makes the person revisit the internet.
#2. Helpful in Coping with Anxiety
The loss of any human presence leads to virtual presence. The flourishment of the internet is the inability of people to talk.
#3. The Fear of Judgement
No one wants to confess the fear of judgement. So, they wish to share problems online, instead.
#4. Biological Genes
The most surprising fact is the passing on this gene. If an addicted parent wonders why the child has addictions, the answer is you!
This effect is the best testimony of the Biological Effects of Addiction on Your Brain.
The Negative Effects of Internet Addiction on Mental Health
These signs are most common if someone is heavily addicted to the use of the internet:
#1. Inability to Focus
A person who is so distracted from the internet can’t focus on any other interaction.
#2. Irritable Communications
The wish to get likes keeps most people very distracted.
A person addicted to social media and other online social platforms often avoids real-life communications.
#3. Drastic Mood Swings
Inability to focus and cope with emotions leads to very drastic shifts in mood.
#4. Sleeplessness (Insomnia)
Being online is like an addiction. This comes at the cost of sleep.
People who don’t want to let the burden out, carry baggage. They often hide away behind anonymous online identities. This certainly makes them depressed.
#6. Suicidal Thoughts
The will to get online attention and facing negligence makes people spiral down. This leads to suicidal thoughts.
At times, people lose their temper and take the wrong path.
Internet addiction may develop into cyber-suicide too. Today, it’s a fast-pacing world where we neglect most of the health issues. This negligence comes at the cost of mental health too.
Addiction comes in stages. Pay attention before it becomes a disorder. At first, a person gets aloof from everyone, then, they start boycotting any conversation. Simple words trigger an addict.
Not only does your mental health suffers, but the internet has biological effects on people.
#7. Impede Development of Cognitive Skill
People are less interactive, and their inter-personal relationship suffers a lot. The brain doesn’t develop well, so cognitive skills suffer.
#8. Severe Headaches
Being on gadget 24/7 gives migraine attacks. This also causes headaches.
#9. Loss in Appetite
People don’t register their surroundings. This leads to a loss in appetite too.
#10. Weight Gain
A decrease in metabolic activities gives way to weight gain. A person hooked on the internet prefers to stay indoors. Thus, the lack of physical activity makes them bulky.
#11. Weak Eyesight
Screen time exposes eyes to constant stress, which is why myopia is common. However, weak eyesight can be due to other factors too, but the internet hampers them the most.
#12. Premature Ageing
Internet restricts biological growth naturally. This, in turn, hampers growth. All of this leads to premature ageing.
Overcoming Internet Addiction: Remedial Steps
This addiction can rear its ugly head at any age. Though, it is more commonly seen among teenagers.
Still, any person can come across this problem. Today, we don’t understand the repercussion of the over usage, but tomorrow it would cost a lot.
Therefore, the following corrective steps should be taken:
- Realise the hours spent online
- Fix a time to be online
- Keep engaged
- Set goals for work
- Start with small deadlines
- Talk to someone
Overcoming Internet Addiction (For Parents)
- Don’t dismiss
- Don’t bad mouth internet
- Spend more time with your kids, friends, and relatives
- Go outdoors
- Schedule time
- Limit yourself too
At times, the addiction is to such extent that the person fails to show up for their job or prioritize works.
Now, we hope you have a fair idea of how does internet addiction affect mental health.
Well, the idea behind using the internet was to help rather than dominate our lives. There is nothing better than a man-to-man interaction.
Man is a social being for a reason. The biological mental degradation due to addiction can be severe.
Taking early steps to correct your symptoms will help prevent severe consequences on time.