Digital Addiction: The Risks of Internet Abuse

Excessive use of the Internet, gaming and frequent stay on social media platforms during free time have been identified as potential prerequisites for digital addiction. This condition can have a significant impact on both mental and physical health.
Prof. Dr. Elif Aktan Mutlu, psychiatrist, emphasized that along with traditional addictions such as alcohol, tobacco and drug abuse, digital addiction has emerged as a growing problem in recent years.
Mutlu stressed that digital addiction, like substance addiction, can lead to various challenges in mental and physical health and social interactions, especially during periods of withdrawal.
"Internet addiction constitutes a significant part of digital addictions. Individuals affected by this addiction may experience anxiety when not accessing the Internet, spend long periods online, and prioritize Internet use over personal, family, and social commitments." , Mutlu specified.
She emphasized that individuals struggling with Internet addiction often have difficulty concentrating on tasks unrelated to online activities, resulting in reduced productivity in work or academic settings, strained relationships with loved ones, and withdrawal from social engagements. . Mutlu warned that persistent internet addiction can lead to severe mental, physical, social and academic consequences.
Mutlu noted that advances in technology have led to the emergence of a range of digital temptations, including computer games, social media platforms, online shopping websites and gambling sites, all of which can stimulate addictive behaviors categorized as "behavioral" addictions.
In diagnosing addiction, Mutlu stressed the importance of assessing the amount of time spent on digital platforms and the anxiety experienced in their absence, stressing that personalized treatment plans should target these factors.
She further warned that untreated digital addiction can lead to severe mental and psychological health problems, as well as reduced productivity in various aspects of life. Studies show that prolonged use of the Internet can lead to insomnia, fatigue, impaired attention, increased tension, social withdrawal, and even life-threatening conditions such as heart attacks and strokes./BGNES