SEOUL, Nov. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – Research has successfully linked one of modern life’s social ills, smartphone addiction, with poor mental health in the form of depression, anxiety and high levels of stress.
The study, published in the “Journal of Mental Health”, was conducted by the Seoul National University College of Medicine. A total of 608 university students participated in a survey consisting of questions regarding their smartphone use and mental status.
Prior to the survey, the students were given a simple questionnaire, from which the experiment team concluded 222 of the total participants fell under the categories of “Significant Risk” and “Potentially at Risk” with respect to smartphone addiction.
When comparing the results of those addicted and those who were not, stress levels were 2.19 times higher, and depression/anxiety 1.91 times higher for the former.
In addition, there were 2.24 times more addicted students who responded that they had experienced suicidal inclinations before.
Professor Min Kyeong-bok, who headed the study, explained that those suffering from mental health problems exhibit poor impulse control and are often unable to exercise proper self-restraint. Another explanation for the results is that the hormone imbalance caused by mental disorders like depression have a disruptive effect on the neurotransmitters found in the cerebral cortex, manifesting in symptoms like smartphone addiction.
The results are worrying in a society with extremely high levels of smartphone use. Last year, Yonsei University researchers discovered that smartphone addiction engendered thoughts of suicide amongst adolescents. Together, the research findings indicate that society’s most vulnerable are also highly susceptible to smartphone addiction and its accompanying problems.