The Dark Side of Being Young Technology Addiction

With the rise of Mobile phone and computer use the NHS has seen a rise in internet and technology addiction. Addiction is a condition that results when a person ingests a substance (e.g., alcohol, cocaine, nicotine) or engages in an activity (e.g. gambling, sex, shopping) that can be pleasurable but the continued use/act of which becomes compulsive and interferes with ordinary life responsibilities, such as work, relationships, or health. Users may not be aware that their behavior is out of control and causing problems for themselves and others.

As we see in Michelle’s episode, Internet addiction can take up nearly every waking hour of the day. In Michelle’s case this is a collection of activities performed on a number of devices – social media, watching films and gaming, on phone, computer and console – but it could be just one thing that is the draw.

With every hour of the day given over to technology it becomes completely consuming, taking over every aspects of the sufferers life to the detriment of all others. This leads to fractured relationships with friends and family, no time for exercise or building relationships, and eating and sleeping badly.

This can have physical implications, and while the condition Michelle develops is rare, it’s more common for the addiction to cause you to suffer from regular backaches and headaches and you might also lose or gain a lot of weight in a short time. It can be hard for the sufferer to recognise that anything is wrong, as these physical effects can be compounded by mental health conditions like low mood and even depression. This in turn can further isolate the sufferer.

Help & Support

If you think you, or someone you know, is suffering from a technology or internet addiction, or any of the issues raised here, then the following organisations offer help and support.

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