Cyberspace and Mental Illness
15 Nov 2022
by Dr. Ashish Deshpande
Do these words seem to be from a dystopian future? Do these words sound like complex jargon found in medical journals that might impact a minuscule percentage of people? Think again! All the above mental health issues may be closer to home than you can imagine. The scary thing is all these are closely related to something that has become part and parcel of our lives – the Internet.
There is indeed novelty and utility in the world of the internet and digital media. While using it for information, information dissemination, entertainment, and friendships, it is equally important to be aware of the surrounding real world.
If we allow the virtual world to encroach into our real one, the resulting imbalance can cause some major mental health issues. Some of the consequences of an imbalance between virtual-world addiction and real-world awareness are mentioned below.
Internet Addiction Disorder
Are you addicted to the internet?
Do you know the symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder? The ever-increasing use of the internet, the preparation for it, and time wastage Negligence towards work/relations/health Irritability, malaise Impatience due to lack of gratification Failed attempts of reducing the usage.
Divorce: End of marriage because of the internet
Did you know? The internet has been a major cause of strained marital ties. Indifference and detachment in marriage arise from undeterred use of the internet. Parallel living conditions. Ignorance towards each other's needs and priority to relations in the virtual world.
Online Identity Disorder
Confused between your real and virtual identity?
You are not alone! The confusion between the real world identity and the identity in the virtual world, the conflicts arising out of it, emotional outbursts, arising differences in relations, and effects on living in the real world.
Are you constantly checking notifications?
The constant discomposure to checking notifications is a disorder. The curiosity to see if the sent message has been replied to is discomposure. The internal need to constantly send and check messages, the resulting suffocation, irritability, increasing frustration, and apathy.
Suffocated because of staying away from the internet?
You might be a victim of Dinging! The uncontrollable craving and usage of the virtual world result from staying away from it for some time for work purposes or any other reason. The resulting suffocation, irritability, increasing frustration, and apathy if not gratified.
Obsessed with Selfies?
Our urge to click pictures of ourselves is devouring us. The extreme desire to click one's photos in selfie mode, look at them and publish them in the virtual world. Complete negligence towards safety while clicking selfies, too many photos during the day, and their presence in the virtual world; an expectation of responses on them.
Internet Gaming Disorder
Are you addicted to the gaming
Do you play with other players on the internet for hours? You might be suffering from Internet Gaming Disorder. Playing with other players on the internet for hours; attempting to beat others or to break own's score records; time wastage due to gaming, negligence towards work/relations/health, irritability, malaise, impatience due to lack of gratification; failed attempts of reducing the usage.
Compulsive Sexual Disorder
Extreme desire for sexual pleasure
No regard for morals while gratifying it, using it for the virtual world. The utility and attractiveness of the virtual world are intoxicating. Its effects on neuropsychology must also be similar and this assumption has been confirmed by the recognition of internet addiction disorders.