Aggression, bad mood, isolation, abandonment of studies and social environment. These are some of the symptoms of mobile phone addiction.
Mobile addiction can develop in a very few months since the pleasure is immediate and the biochemical changes in the brain are the basis of the psychological ones..
Although mobile phone addiction is not yet listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V), research has compared it to gambling addiction, which has clearer diagnostic criteria and is included in the DSM -V.
At least 4 of the following signs and symptoms are believed to comprise the criteria for mobile addiction, and problematic phone use must cause significant harm to the person's life:
Excessive mobile phone use can lead to a number of different physical problems that can cause permanent damage or be difficult to treat, such as:
Mobile addiction has been linked to an increase in sleep disturbances and fatigue in users. Using your phone before bed increases the likelihood of insomnia because:
The isolation that the mobile can generate by not interacting face to face on a regular basis with other people, generates loneliness and feelings of hopelessness.
Addicted people present compulsive acts of continually checking their mobile in case they have received messages or news of some kind, or for compulsive gambling. They also show obsessive thoughts about the need to be connected, who writes to them, who doesn't, etc..
Offline relationships can suffer as a result of neglect in favor of excessive mobile and social media use.
Research has found that young people who use their cell phones the most are more likely to feel anxious during downtime.
Unlike other addictions, such as alcoholism or gambling, the age of onset is very low, from twelve years, due to, among other causes, the easy access that minors have to this communication system and also because there is no rejection effect, but quite the opposite, on the part of society to its use.
In this case it is not a substance but the link is behavioral. It is an irrepressible, uncontrollable and exaggerated behavior that displaces other activities and the addiction to the mobile underlies what in any other dependency of this type: An immature character, insecurity in oneself, instability and communication difficulties. The object, the cell phone in this case, is a substitute for the personality plots that are in deficit. The pleasure principle beats the reality principle.
Without great differences between the two sexes, they are more common in unstructured families, which leads to a deprivation of affection, it is also linked to school or love failure. In short, there are negative feelings towards oneself, frustration, dislike of one's own way of being; which leads the addict to have difficulties to relate and is hidden in the mobile, the 'chat' provides anonymity, supplements inhibitions.
Paradoxically, the communication addict reaches isolation, this situation creates a special character seasoned with anxiety about calling or receiving messages. The dependence on the mobile is brutal and lack of coverage or suffer a blackout, creates a real chaos among addicts.
1. The phone is your main means of communicating with your friends, what do you keep using it for when you have them by your side? It is becoming more and more frequent to see a group of kids each with their mobile in their hand and without talking to each other..
2. You are never separated from the phone. You take it to the bathroom, during lunch, in front of the television, at family gatherings ...
3. You go from a feeling of discomfort to another of well-being depending on whether or not you have a mobile phone nearby. In many cases, you get nervous if it doesn't show up. Nervousness that ceases when finding the terminal.
4. Your sleep habits have changed. Are you in front of the screen and can't find time to go to sleep? Do you perceive that they sleep little and badly? Is it difficult for you to get up in the morning?
5. You suffer the Effect of Distance, you are at home or with your friends, but it is as if you are not there, the quantity and quality of communication with siblings and parents has decreased alarmingly. Although this phenomenon is typical of adolescence and is difficult to measure according to what ages.
6. You spend many hours staring at the small screen. There is no set number of hours from which it can be said that there is a pathological use of the telephone, but the experts give a clue. What things are you not doing because you are looking or interacting on your mobile? Watching television, playing games, studying or abandoning other obligations.
Measure your level of mobile addiction with this test
The mobile phone is not the only technology that can be abused until it becomes a problem. The Internet and its contents, as well as video games, also have their risks.
"The Internet per se is not addictive, although some of its contents can be," says Lourdes Ventura, a psychiatrist and one of the promoters of the Internet Addicts project. He also wants to clarify that, as in the case of drugs, "the problem is within the person, not outside".
When making a profile of the Internet addict, differentiate between young people and adults. In the former, between the ages of 14 and 25, the addiction can be considered mild. "Although it is where you have to influence more," he warns. And it must be done so as not to reach the pathological uses that it has seen in adults..
As for video games, there are no conclusive studies that affirm their dangerousness. But remember that while the Internet and mobile phones are not designed to reinforce compulsive behaviors, video games are. Therefore, adults are recommended to supervise the games of young people, especially the most problematic ones..