Internet addiction is a very recent phenomenon, but is already a cause for concern. With the advent of various social networking websites, people are increasingly becoming addicted to the internet. Internet addiction disorder is often characterized by people inching to form an emotional attachment with people and activities, all of them online. You may enjoy connecting to people more over the virtual interface instead of the real world; this usually stems from an inability to establish real human contact.
The symptoms of internet addiction disorder are:
1. Excessive usage of the internet
2. Depression, mood swings and irritability if one doesn’t get access to the internet
3. Any effort to reduce internet usage is usually unsuccessful
4. You may experience constant problems in personal relationships, education and your job due to incessant internet usage
5. A tendency of lying to close ones when they ask you how much time you spend over the internet
6. Using internet to escape from real world problems
Internet addiction can gradually isolate you. You may develop an aversion to meeting and communicating with people in real life. This can impair your social skills and make you socially awkward. This disorder also create problems in relationships as it can reduce the time you spend interacting personally.
Internet addiction may also lead you to create online personas to evade low self-esteem issues. This actually aggravates the problem instead of solving it; can result in severe anxiety and depression. Withdrawal symptoms might result in anxiety, depression, irritation and loneliness. This disorder can lead to complications such as dry eyes, headaches, change in sleep patterns and subsequent problems in falling asleep. Back pain from sitting upright while you are on the internet is also very common problem.
Dr. Sachin Kumar Mangla