5 consequences of using high technology that can lead to depression

Original author: Joel Lee
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One of the biggest problems of modern technologies is their connection with the increasing number of people suffering from depression , in particular, among people who spend a lot of time at the computer . You may notice how computers can disrupt your sleep patterns, as well as affect your mental state. Well, if it does not concern you! But, quite possibly, this material will be useful to you and will help to avoid problems.

To begin with, we want to clarify the difference between clinical and seasonal depression. The reasons for the latter are seasonal changes in the weather (therefore, it is easier to treat, for example, using lamps for light therapy).

The same article more reveals the connection between technology and clinical depression.

Remember: we are not experts in the field of medicine. If you think that you have experienced depression, or you have problems with a mental state, it is always better to consult a doctor first. Well, reading this material can be one of the steps towards a healthy lifestyle . And this is a lot!

1. Internet

We have never had such free access to knowledge, entertainment and news from around the world.

At the same time, this comprehensive access led to the emergence of the so-called information overload, because our brain is not used to the constant flow of such an amount of information.

When we experience information overload, the brain tries to adapt - it tries to get used to the frantic rhythm and the state of constant congestion. That is why when you try to briefly distance yourself from the World Wide Web, life seems so slow and boring.

Moreover, information overload is a mountain of information, which we need not only to comprehend, but also to divide into the necessary and useless. Due to the fact that the brain gets used to overstrain, we begin to search more and more for something new - something that we have never seen before.

Psychologist Lucy Joe Palladino states:
When the overexcitation of the brain becomes chronic, you begin to live in a state of constant and unresolved stress and anxiety , it becomes more difficult for the brain to process more and more information.
Studies of the relationship of the Internet with depression, launched in 2010 at Leeds University, revealed:
Our study showed that excessive use of the Internet is directly related to depression, but we have not yet figured out what appears first - does a depressed person go into the virtual world, or does the Internet cause depression?
It was also revealed that sites designed to replace live communication lead to psychological disorders such as depression and addiction.

But the Internet can be useful in treating depression. Many communities and groups have been created that help people fight depression. But, despite this, it is worth remembering that the Internet can cause the opposite effect.

2. Smartphones

Phone addiction is a subspecies of Internet addiction that is very common in the modern world. We love smartphones, and if we needed to live even a day without them, many would feel uncomfortable.

Thanks to smartphones, we can access the Internet from anywhere. We are always connected with our gadget - we often browse web pages or chat with a friend. And if someone says that there is nothing wrong with such superconnection, then there will be those who argue with that.

In 2012, the University of Gothenburg found that excessive attachment to gadgets leads to mental and physical illnesses:
Excessive phone attachment disrupts sleep patterns in men and causes depression in men and women.

The combination of computer and telephone addiction only worsens the condition.
And in 2015, Baylor University found out why people are so dependent on their gadgets :
Studies have shown that those people who use smartphones more often are more prone to a state of dejection, materialism, have a lower concentration.

Like drug addiction, telephone addiction can improve mood ... Checking mail, chatting with friends, sending tweets and surfing the Internet can only briefly distract a person from problems and ensure peace of mind.
As a result, telephone addiction and everything connected with it are futile attempts to fight depression and cheer yourself up.

Unfortunately, this helps only in rare cases, and most often only distracts from real life.

3. Social networks

In moderation, social media is a great thing. They allow you to stay in touch with friends and family, participate in interesting discussions and stay up to date with the latest news and trends. Everything sounds very good.
But there is one “but”: for many people, visiting Facebook can cause a bad mood. You feel envy looking through the lives of more successful and wealthy people, and this can lead to depression.

People have already noticed this more than once, but in 2015, research by the University of Missouri confirmed the unrest of users:
Going to Facebook to see how well a friend or old friend lives, a person often experiences envy, and this leads to depression.
We noticed that if a person feels envy when observing the beautiful life of his acquaintance, he is more inclined to share his depressive thoughts online.

Dependence on social networks becomes a problem when people start to feel anxious every time they leave their own comfort zone. Most often, this condition is described by the terms nomophobia (fear of being without a phone) and FOMO (fear of missing something).

In short: social networks are beautiful, thanks to communication opportunities that were not there before, but, on the other hand, they give us a false picture of someone else's good life - and from this users begin to feel like losers and get depressed. But it is worth remembering that no one will share their failures on the network, and a beautiful life on Facebook is only a small part of someone else's life, which may not be as beautiful as it may seem to us.

4. Pornography

After conducting a survey on the Internet about how often users watch pornographic content, we were shocked. Out of 793 respondents, 37% admit that they watch porn “once a week”, 33% - “every day”, and 10% do it several times a day. This means that out of 80% of people viewing adult materials, only a small part does this no more than once a week. The survey was not conducted for scientific purposes, but proved that many people watch porn.

Unfortunately, studies have shown that watching porn harms the brain, changing neural pathways and changing behavior and personality:
Scientists have found that our brains are like an endless game of Tetris, in which blocks are our memories and experiences.
Like narcotic substances, porn fills the brain with dopamine. But, since the brain suffers from an overabundance of chemicals coming from watching porn, it tries to resist and drowns out some dopamine receptors.
The brain of porn lovers is adapting to a new level of dopamine and the amount of dopamine that was previously considered excessive is now not enough, so a person begins to feel oppressed after a long refusal of pornography.

The good news is that such brain changes are only temporary:
Neuroplasticity works in both directions. This means that, getting rid of the addiction, the brain will again return to its previous state.

This is not to say that watching porn leads to depression, but it can exacerbate it. Many people jokingly say that porn saved them from depression, but much more often you can hear that a person got rid of depression just by stopping watching adult materials.

5. Game addiction

Another area of ​​online entertainment that can worsen depression is computer games. Of course, you can play just by enjoying the game, but, based on the experience of many people, gaming addiction should also be taken into account as a real threat to health.

A 2012 study showed a link between games and cases of severe depression:
Online game users who spend hours watching online battles have more noticeable symptoms of depression, social phobia, and internet addiction.

Better sex players spend less time playing games, but are more prone to symptoms of somatic pain and social fears.

The more hours a person spends on online games, the more likely he is to get a mental disorder.
Like many forms of entertainment, video games are a form of escapism. For some, this is a way to get away from their own responsibilities. For others - the opportunity to forget about some unpleasant moment in real life, such as the general state of unhappiness.
Continuous spending time at MMORPG games or dopamine jumps from winning an online competition can bring temporary relief, but not solve the accumulated problems.

Like many distracting entertainments, online games only drown out depression a little. And when love for them becomes addicted, it can provoke communication problems, lowered self-esteem, deterioration of physical and mental health, the occurrence of shame or regret. This will only worsen the state of depression in the addict!

The good news: depression is not the end!

Instant cures for depression have not yet been invented, but it can still be cured with the help of professionals!

On the other hand, if you feel that you are not completely depressed yet, there are several ways to reduce the negative impact. For example, try to find a hobby that can make you happier. Incredibly, even a short rest time can positively affect the internal state of a person.

Do you agree with what the article says? If so, how do you deal with all sorts of addictions?

PS. We recommend another useful article on the topic of self- development - How to maintain balance in virtual life .

The author of the translation is Vyacheslav Davidenko, founder of TESTutor .

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