World health organization (WHO) has recently recognized that people who are addicted to video games are in fact suffering from a specific disorder named “Gaming Disorder” and included it in 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). Similarly back in 2013 gambling disorder was recognized, to diagnose and help people addicted to gambling. These socio-psychiatric disorders share some common diagnostic criteria:
1. Patients suffering from these disorders are so much indulged in these activities that all other activities are sidelined.
2. Patients are unable to suppress this behavior, ignoring very vital daily activities (physical and mental).
3. Patients suffering from these disorders are significantly stressed out and their performance is impaired.
Another similar situation is involving the generations like a pandemic. It is the addiction for smartphones. Starting from children age 2-3 years to elderly people of the society, the use of the smartphone is becoming irresistible. Extrapolating the situation one can presume that soon “Smartphone disorder” will be recognized as a separate entity as well. According to surveys, more than 70% of people in Pakistan are using smartphones and most of them can’t live without it. It seems to be more terrifying than the other 2 disorders as even small kids in their pampers are suffering from this disorder. These kids are spending most of their time using the smartphones in their home and this not only is affecting their physical health but their mental health as well. Due to lack of physical activities, they are not only weak but they easily become angry and anxious especially if their cell phone or network is not available.
It is the responsibility of society as a whole to understand this upcoming monster and contribute in fighting against this disorder. The parents need to spend more time with their children, encourage them for physical activities, and sacrifice by limiting the use of their cell phones. Teachers should arrange special activities to give a healthy message to their students not to use excessive cell phones. Psychiatric help can also be sought for those whose symptoms seem to be severe and unresponsive.
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