The AIIMS Behavioural Addiction Clinic has almost doubled with the complaints of “internet addiction” since the launch of the facility two years ago.
Due to internet addiction increasing number of youth, mostly school and college students, were developing “severe behavioural and psychiatric problems,” said experts at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS).
An internet addiction is the uncontrolled use of the internet for gaming, gambling or pornography to the extent that a person stops carrying out his or her routine activities.
Rachna Bhargava, the clinical psychologist at AIIMS, said that “many of the issues of problematic internet use is due to lack of parental monitoring and inconsistencies in the discipline. Parents should supervise the activities of their children.
She further stated, “they should also encourage their children to increase social interaction in the real world rather than spending time in the virtual world.”
Pratap Saran, who is the Professor of Psychiatry at AIIMS, said that internet addiction is often associated with “depression, mood disorders, anxiety and substance abuse”, but the causality can be bidirectional which means spending too much time on the internet may lead to poor academic performance, and this, in turn, may lead to depression or mood disorders.
Professor R K Chadda, the HOD of Psychiatry and National Drug Dependence Treatment Centre (NDDTC) chief has said, almost 20 to 25 per cent of youth in India suffer from some kind of mental disorder with depression, anxiety, mood disorders and substance abuse being prevalent among them.