Dr. V.U.Karthikeyan MD,

Consultant Psychiatrist,

Indira Mind Clinic, Redhills


** Technology has improved within a short span of 3 decades. 

Internet has become a necessity, extensively used for work and education; internet use in such circumstances cannot be called as addiction. 

**The gadgets through which internet is accessed is very important, there used to be a time where people have to go to Net centres to do online activities, but now almost all online activities can be done using smartphones in the palms of their hands. Hence, many people prefer smartphones over computers. 

**Supreme court of India has declared access to Internet as a fundamental rights of every Indian citizen.

**Recently with increasing smartphone users and improved internet accessibility, number of people using internet increased tremendously, which has led to increase in internet addiction.

**People with internet addiction usually spend more time on internet with no control, thinking about internet most of the time, hiding about their time spent with internet. 

**They get angry or irritable easily when their internet use is reduced and the quality of day to day routine activities will be impaired; some people also cope up with their stress by escape from their day to day problems by using internet.

**When internet use is restricted to people with internet addiction, they might experience withdrawal problems like getting angry often for simple reason, anxious, depressed, prefer to be lonely, restless, difficulty concentrating in works… 

**Internet addiction can also cause various physical problems like dry eyes, backaches, headaches, obesity, sleep problems, poor hygiene and carpal tunnel syndrome

**Internet addiction can affect a person’s quality of life where they don’t spend time with loved ones but prefers to be lonely, various problems will arise due to the amount of time spent online

**Due to their addiction problem they may start hiding their usage time and tell more lies often, ultimately creating problem to their personal and family life. 

**Internet addiction leads to poor work performance at workplace

**Many schools during this pandemic had to resort to online teaching programs, which helped the students with their academics; but at the cost of screen addiction and excessive internet usage increasing severalfold

**Children are unable to carry on with their routine activities like going to school, interacting, going out and playing with friends, these issues already had caused tremendous impact on many children mental wellbeing. 

**Nowadays internet addiction has become a serious problem among school going students. Parents due to their busy schedule tend to forget that children mental health is also at stake during this pandemic; where children are left alone with smart phones for longer period, due to which they have easy access to other portals like gaming, social media and various app!

Why do we get addicted?

**Internet addiction is like gambling, alcohol and other drug addiction. 

**Many people get addicted to internet due to impulsivity, low self-esteem & escaping from day to day life problems. 

Internet can be used anonymously and so many people create some fake personas. These people prefer to socialize on internet rather than face to face interactions. People with social anxiety also prefer internet.

**Internet activity provides us with mood enhancing contents and unpredictable rewards, which is a perfect combination for persons to get addicted (Video games, Rummy, Social network sites, Porn, dating sites, chat rooms, browsing).

**Internet addiction affects the area of the brain which are essential for attention, planning, memory and decision making, due to this person with internet addiction may have problem in prioritizing important task in their life.

**Chances of internet addiction is higher in person who is already suffering from mental health problems like Anxiety, depression, ADHD, alcohol or drug use.

**Mental health problems like stress, depression and anxiety has increased during this pandemic which also in turn has led to rise in addictive behaviours particularly internet addiction.

Getting rid of internet addiction!

**While treating internet addiction, main problem which I encountered was that many clients were reluctant to accept the word ‘’addiction’’ due to stigma; only when we understand that there is a problem we can find solution for it. 

**Cutting off completely from internet is not possible, so it is better to use it responsibly by avoiding problematic online activities 

- set realistic goals

- identify problematic applications and avoid it

- prefer computers to access your social network sites rather than smartphones

- minimize your internet usage in smart phone

- schedule your internet time and works 

- create external events like going out with family or friends

- use reminder cards at your home to make you aware about internet addiction

- parents should monitor their children internet activity

- parents should encourage children to use bigger screen for online classes rather than smart phone

- exercise regularly

- follow time management 

- seek help from mental health professional if problem persists


Dr. V.U.Karthikeyan MD,

Consultant Psychiatrist,

Indira Mind Clinic, Redhills



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