Can Technology cause depression? is a question that came up due to the increase in the use of modern days technologies such as TV, Computer, Mobile devices, handheld device and so many of the technological inclined products. this is a tactical question which is medically and technological related and it needs to attended to diplomatically.
WHAT IS DEPRESSION:
For us to understand and tackle this question we have to have a break down of the question. firstly we will have to know what is depression, what does it mean to say that someone is depressed.
Psychiatrics.org definition of depression: Depression (major depressive disorder) is a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. Fortunately, it is also treatable. Depression causes feelings of sadness and/or a loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home.
WHAT CAUSES DEPRESSION?
Although scientists agree that depression is a brain disorder, the debate continues about exact causes. Many factors may contribute to the onset of depression, including genetic characteristics, changes in hormone levels, certain medical illnesses, stress, grief, or substance abuse. Any of these factors alone or in combination can bring about the specific changes in brain chemistry that lead to the many symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and related conditions.
Medically and scientifically depression is taken as a serious case of mental disorder which can be caused by certain medical illness, genetic characteristics, changes in hormone levels, stress, grief, or substance abuse.
Pointing out this “Other substance” means there could be some other constraints which can lead to stress the question is, can technology be among those other substances which are being suspected to be among the list of what causes depression?.
Loss of interest in friends, family and favorite activities, including sex
Trouble making decisions
Thoughts of harming yourself
Delusions and/or hallucinations can also occur in cases of severe depression
Withdrawing from people
Missing work, school or other commitments
Attempts to harm yourself
Tiredness or lack of energy
Unexplained aches and pains
Changes in appetite
Changes in sleep – sleeping too little or too much (Note: if you are concerned about your sleep
WHAT IS TECHNOLOGY
Understanding what technology it can also help us relate it to depression to see if there is any connection linking to it as one of the causes of stress.
Wiki defines technology: Technology (“science of craft”, from Greek τέχνη, techne, “art, skill, the cunning of hand”; ) is the collection of techniques, skills, methods, and processes used in the production of goods or services or in the accomplishment of objectives, such as scientific investigation. Technology can be the knowledge of techniques, processes, and the like, or it can be embedded in machines to allow for operation without the detailed knowledge of their workings.
New research out of the University of Gothenburg, Sweden reinforces this fact, specifically relating to young adults. Doctoral student Sara Thomée and her colleagues at the University of Gothenburg’s Sahlgrenska Academy conducted four studies to find out the effects of heavy computer and cell phone use on the sleep quality, stress levels, and general mental health of young adults.
For the study, Thomée and her team asked 4,100 young adults between age 20 and 24 to fill out questionnaires. They also interviewed 32 of them who were considered heavy information and communication technology (ICT) users. The researchers analyzed and compiled the data, and the results revealed that intensive use of cell phones and computers can be linked to an increase in stress, sleep disorders and depressive symptoms in young adults.
Some of the more specific findings are:
• Heavy cell phone use showed an increase in sleep disorders in men and an increase in depressive symptoms in both men and women.
• Those constantly accessible via cell phones were the most likely to report mental health issues.
• Men who use computers intensively were more likely to develop sleeping problems.
• Regular, late night computer use was associated with sleep disorders, stress and depressive symptoms in both men and women.
• Frequently using a computer without breaks further increases the risk of stress, sleeping problems and depressive symptoms in women.
• A combination of both heavy computer use and heavy mobile use makes the associations even stronger.
So, what’s behind this link between technology use and negative health symptoms? The researchers have not yet fully determined why heavy technology users are more likely to have sleep disorders, higher stress, and mental health issues, but one theory is that people with these symptoms are more likely to reach out and contact friends and family via technology.(HuffingtonPost).
As we can see from the above research lifted from HuffingtonPost most of the symptoms of depression was seen among the users of the modern day’s technologies like mobile phones, computer, and TV.
WAYS TECHNOLOGY IS FEEDING US WITH DEPRESSION
MakeUseOf Has taken the time out to give five possible ways which technology is giving us depression, some points which you have to take note of.
There’s no denying that the Internet has been the most influential force in society in the past hundred years — perhaps even in all of human history. Never before have we had such unprecedented access to news, knowledge, and entertainment from cultures all around the world.
At the same time, this wealth of access has led to something called digital information overload, and our minds simply aren’t able to handle that kind of constant influx of information without making some big changes along the way.
When we subject ourselves to information overload, our brains actually adapt to it — by learning to expect that kind of constant stimulation. That’s why when you step away from the Internet, life feels so slow and boring. This phenomenon is called novelty addiction (also known as “popcorn brain”).
Furthermore, information overload isn’t just about the amount of data that we have to process, but also the variety of data that we have to sort through. Because the brain grows accustomed to overstimulation, we start looking for things that are “new” — things we’ve never seen before.
Smartphone addiction is basically a subset of Internet addiction, but it is so prevalent today that it deserves to be in its own category. We love our smartphones, and if we were asked to give them up for even a day, I doubt many of us would be able to without feeling that itch.
Thanks to the smartphone, we can take the Internet everywhere we go. We’re always connected, never more than a tap away from viewing another webpage or sending another text message. And while some say that this hyperconnectedness is good, one has to wonder: Is it really?
In 2012, the University of Gothenburg found that heavy smartphone use has a real impact on physical and mental health:
Social media is a wonderful thing, at least when used with caution. It allows us to stay connected with friends and family, to have fun and interesting discussions, and to stay on top of the news, trends, and other social phenomena. These are all good things.
But here’s something you may not realize: for a lot of people, visiting a site like Facebook can actually result in a negative mood shift. As you see the highlights of other people’s lives, you may feel envious — and too much envy can lead to depression.
When we ran a poll on Internet pornography use, the results were surprising yet expected. From a sample size of 793, 37% said they watched “probably once a week”, 33% said they watched “every day without fail”, and 10% said they watched “multiple times every day”.
In total, that means 80% of people who responded to the poll watched porn on a weekly basis at the very least. There wasn’t any scientific rigor in the polling method, but it works well enough as a rough estimate, and the results are undeniable: a lot of people watch porn.
The bad news is that porn has the ability to change the way the brain operates, even going as far as rewiring neural pathways and altering behaviors and personalities:
One other area of the Internet that tends to worsen depression is gaming. Obviously, it’s possible to play and enjoy games in moderation, but I’ve personally overcome video game addiction at least twice in my life, and I’m not the only one, so I think it’s important that we recognize it as a real issue.
Can technology cause depression is a question which has not been scientifically proved but theoretically, there are chances technologies such as Computer and mobile phones contribute a lot to stress issues we having in the society today?
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