Leisure, Lifestyle & Wellness
Beware, Facebook or social media addiction can trigger cocaine-like high
New Delhi : Can spending excessive time on Facebook or other social media be as dangerous as addiction to cocaine or gambling?
 
Well, yes, if researchers from California State University-Fullerton are to be believed.
 
They say social media obsession may lead to something akin to classical addiction. Such use triggers two key parts of the brain associated with rewards: The amygdala which is the integrative place for emotions, behaviour and motivation and the striatum -- part of the forebrain and a critical component of the reward system.
 
The findings, recently published in the journal Psychological Reports: Disability and Trauma showed that social media-related "addictions" share some neural features with substance and gambling addictions.
 
Since the meteoric rise of the internet usage and emergence of various social media platforms, many young Indians have been left socially isolated and lonely.
 
It's time for a reality check in our backyard.
 
Take Krishnan (name changed), a 15-year-old social media addict in the capital, who recently visited Dr. Sameer Malhotra, director, mental health and behavioural sciences at Max Healthcare.
 
Hooked on to Facebook for nearly 16 hours a day, he had developed an obsessive personality profile and was neglecting priorities of life, including education.
 
"I have been seeing many youngsters who are in the grip of social media addiction. In the case of Krishnan, I treated him through both counselling and medication which helped channelise his energy in positive work," Dr. Malhotra told IANS.
 
"Facebook addiction is similar to cocaine addiction to a certain level as there are certain neuro-chemicals like dopamine which operate across brain reward pathways and are responsible for maintaining addictive behaviour," he said.
 
According to Dr. Malhotra, teenagers with Facebook addiction-like symptoms may "have a hyperactive amygdala-striatal system, which makes this 'addiction' similar to many other addictions."
 
For Dr. Samir Parikh, director at department of mental health and behavioural Science, Fortis Healthcare, excessive use of social media is a common trend today and such preoccupation leads to an interference in one's social, occupational as well as other areas of functioning.
 
"Yes, it could be considered similar to drug addiction to a certain level though it is not exactly the same. The difference is more in terms of the physiological manifestations involved in the influence of a substance," Dr. Parikh told IANS.
 
Addiction is defined as repetitive habit pattern that increases the risk of diseases or associated personal and social problems. It is a subjective experience of "loss of control".
 
Addiction connotes dependence because there are common neurochemical and neuroanatomical pathways found among all addictions -- whether it is substance, gambling, sex, eating, internet use or Facebook obsession.
 
"They all display similar patterns of behaviour like inability to abstain, impairment in behaviour control, craving, diminished recognition of significant behaviourial problems, interpersonal issues and a dysfunctional emotional response," says Dr. Birendra Yadav, psychology clinical operations at telehealth venture-Poccare, Healthenablr.
 
Experts say Facebook addiction can lead to impulse-control disorders, especially among adolescents where it has led to high prevalence of depression, aggressive behaviour and psychiatric symptoms.
 
The social media has also been found to have affected lifestyles, resulting in irregular dietary habits, decreased physical activity, short duration of sleep and increased use of alcohol and tobacco.
 
Is it true that getting out of Facebook addiction is easier than that of substance abuse?
 
"This is subjective and depends on the context, personality and state of mind of the individual concerned and you need to build the will power of the person through both counselling and medication," Dr. Malhotra says.
 
"Overcoming any kind of addiction is possible with adequate professional interventions," Dr. Parikh said.
 
The bottom line: use social media, but do not let it take over your life. Investing time in "real" relationships rather than in the cyberworld can lead to improved mental health, say experts.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Rajya Sabha disrupted over Rohith Vemula's suicide
New Delhi : Loud anti-government slogans causing an uproar over the death of Dalit scholar Rohith Vemula disrupted the Rajya Sabha Wednesday -- the second day of the long budget session of the Indian parliament.
 
The upper house was adjourned five times after members assembled for the day at 11 a.m.
 
After earlier adjournments in the morning, Chairman Hamid Ansari adjourned the house till 2 in the afternoon when members refused to let the house function and wanted the government to discuss Vemula's alleged January 17 suicide. 
 
The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP), which has 10 members in the house, blamed the central government for the scholar's suicide in Hyderabad University. They gathered at the chairman's podium, demanding the government suspend the Question Hour and debate the issue first.
 
They raised slogans, seeking justice for the family members of the dead student. They alleged that the government was anti-Dalit. "Rohith ke parivar ko, nyaay dou, nyaay dou", "Dalit virdohi sarkar, nahin chalegi, nahin chalegi", they shouted incessantly in front of the podium.
 
BSP leader Mayawati insisted that the government should respond first and debate the issue. "This is not the first time a Dalit student committed suicide," the BSP supremo said.
 
"Rohith Vemula was Ambedkar supporter. RSS did not like this, he was exploited," Mayawati said, referring to B.R. Ambedkar, the author of the Indian Constitution, who was a Dalit leader.
 
The upper house was forced into five adjournments till afternoon despite Ansari making a passionate appeal to slogan shouting members, requesting them that they should let the Question Hour proceed and raise the issue later in the day.
 
"Disruption of question hour is violation of privilege of individual members. Is the house going on that track," Ansari asked.
 
"The questions have been listed and they have to be answered." 
 
The government as well as the chair pointed out that a debate on the Vemula death is listed for discussion later in the day.
 
But the protesting members didn't relent and continued with their slogan shouting near the chairman's podium.
 
The death of the Dalit student triggered widespread protests from opposition, who demanded action against central ministers Smriti Irani and Bandaru Dattatreya, who were blamed for forcing Vemula to take his life.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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COMMENTS

Meenal Mamdani

9 months ago

Disgusting behavior from BSP. If the question is on the schedule to be discussed later, then why the ruckus? Only to show their supporters that BSP can flex its muscle to disrupt Rajyasabha? If BSP cared so much for this Dalit student's suicide, where was it during all the preceding weeks of turmoil?

HC adjourned Kanhaiya's bail; police seeks remand
New Delhi : The Delhi High Court on Wednesday adjourned the bail plea hearing of JNU Student Union president Kanhaiya Kumar, arrested on sedition charges, for February 29.
 
Delhi Police told Justice Pratibha Rani that they are moving remand application to seek Kanhaiya's police remand which is required to confront him with JNU students Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya, who surrendered on Tuesday Night.
 
The court deferred the hearing till February 29 after Kanhaiya's advocates Kapil Sibal and Rebecca John asked to postpone the hearing as they will oppose the police remand application.
 
Police said as Umar Khalid and Anirban Bhattacharya surrendered on Tuesday night following which they were taken into custody safely, now they need Kanhaiya's police custody.
 
Kanhaiya is in judicial custody that will expire on March 2.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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