Psychological impact of excessive gambling and ways to deal with Internet addiction

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The Internet has become an integral part of our lives and its use has increased dramatically. For a very long time, drug addiction was limited to substance use. In recent years, Internet and gambling addiction has become one of the most important types of addiction for the current generation. Internet addiction is considered an impulse control disorder with no substance involved. In response to this, recent studies have shown a positive correlation between excessive internet use and mental disorders. Regardless of the types of activities pursued thereafter, Internet addiction is psychological dependence on the Internet.

Internet games can lead to psychosocial and behavioral changes affecting their daily activities. Besides physical health issues such as disturbed sleep and eating habits, internet gaming and addiction can have a psychological impact, such as anxiety, depression, social phobia, attention deficit disorder. with hyperactivity, etc.

What are the impacts of excessive gambling and Internet addiction?

Gambling and internet addiction are associated with various negative consequences. An individual, addicted to the Internet, will lose concentration on daily tasks that will have a negative impact on his academic or professional performance. Researchers have found that people who spend a lot of time playing online games or surfing the Internet have poor verbal memory. In addition to being more aggressive, they are more likely to have thoughts of harming / killing themselves.

People may experience socialization issues that cause them to sacrifice their real relationships for the sake of spending more time online.

The online platform can be addictive as it provides the ability to maintain anonymity, allowing them to escape any bias or judgment that they might otherwise receive. Depending on the game, players can also impersonate certain characters to create an alternate identity. It would furthermore make it difficult for them to separate themselves from the virtual world of which they are a part. Apart from this, it is possible that they suffer financial losses (gambling or betting), suffer from loneliness, mood disorders, self-esteem issues and impulsive behaviors.

Although gambling and internet addiction is seen in a small percentage of the population, it is expected to become a major mental health problem soon if not treated immediately. Parents or guardians should communicate with their children and help them engage in offline activities and also explain the consequences of excessive screen time.

With the rise of technology, many are spending much more time online and struggling to cope with the consequences of excessive screen time.

What are the different ways to deal with Internet addiction?

1. Pursue a hobby

Try to start doing what you love again rather than just sitting in front of your gadget and scrolling!

2. Set a time to use the phone
Establish ground rules for when to use the Internet and for how long. Draw a line! Use the gadget only for professional / academic purposes or for a period of time and try to stick to it.

3. Spend time with your friends and family
Try to spend a lot more time with your family. Do fun activities together or play games. There are a lot of things we could miss when we are not spending time with our close family and friends.

4. Technology-free room policy
We all have a habit of taking our gadgets to our bedroom and using them before we go to sleep. This can not only affect how long we sleep, but also impact the quality of our sleep.

5. Know the consequences of excessive screen time
Many people are unaware of the psychological consequences of excessive internet use or gambling. Try to communicate with people and listen to them.

It is possible that in some ways, a lack of acceptance of problem gambling and the stigma of the behavior contribute to the higher rate of addiction and problem gambling. It is high time that we started to recognize and tackle the predominant gambling addiction that we observe.

(This article is attributed to Saadhvi Raju, Consulting Psychologist, Medall Mind)

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author. They do not reflect the opinions of India TV)

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