Excessive mobile use leads to psychological problems: Study

A study by PGI doctors suggests that there is a close association between excessive mobile usage by young adults and their suffering from psychological problems like depression,loneliness and low self-esteem.

Written by TANBIR DHALIWAL | Chandigarh | Published:May 14, 2013 3:07 am

A study by PGI doctors suggests that there is a close association between excessive mobile usage by young adults and their suffering from psychological problems like depression,loneliness and low self-esteem.

The research says that young adults who are using mobile phone ‘excessively’ (non-essential use) are associated with higher negative psychological consequences.

“It is very important to understand the usage of word ‘excessive’ in the study,as almost everybody in India is using the gadget,but the study focuses on its excessive use,which means the non-essential use,” says Dr Debasish Basu,professor,Department of Psychiatry,PGIMER.

He adds,“Youngsters suffering from depression and loneliness try to solve the problem with excessive use of mobile phones in their lives. Initially they use mobile phone excessively to avoid social problems,depression and others,but later it becomes a compulsive quality which starts hampering their routine work like studies.”

A study was conducted on 212 young adults of average 21 years of age who are pursuing graduation and post-graduation. They were given a 46-item questionnaire with ‘yes/no’ response to fill.

On analysing their answers,it was found that on average,young adults use their mobile phones for three hours/day for making/receiving calls,sending messages and playing games.

Further,69% of the participants believe that using mobile phones helps them in overcoming bad moods like feeling of inferiority,helplessness,guilt,anxiety,depression etc. While 40% used mobile phones as an escape route from their problems,1/6th of them admitted that mobile phone use led to reduction in socialisation. In 10-15% of participants,the mobile phone has led to sleep reduction and inter-personal behavioural problems.

Interestingly,58% keep the mobile phone on,even though getting disturbed by the same during relaxation time. While 49.5% feel incomplete if they are not able to access the mobile phone,the similar number of young adults get irritated if they are not able to locate the mobile in the morning.

“It was found that excessive use of mobile by youngsters is associated in two ways with behavioural problems. Either youngsters suffering with behavioural problems use mobile phone more than required,or excessive use leads to psychological problems,” Dr Basu says.

He adds that mobile is an essential part of modern life,but one should be careful and should not make excessive use of the gadget.

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