Pandit Bhagwat Dayal Sharma Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences (PGIMS) in Rohtak has started a special psychiatric clinic for those addicted to mobile phone and Internet and “lose mental strength and spirit to take on the real-life challenges.

The new clinic has started functioning under the department of psychiatry at PGIMS and will run on every Thursday under the aegis of the departments drug de-addiction centre.

Misuse and overuse of cellphones and Internet-based social media has emerged as a global cause for concern. It has led to behavioural changes. Those who remain engrossed in the virtual world lose mental strength and spirit to take on the real-life challenges, said Dr Rajiv Gupta, Director-cum-CEO of the Institute of Mental Health and the head of department of psychiatry at PGIMS.

With technological developments constantly improving functionalities of mobile phones, there has been an increase in overuse and addiction associated with their usage. Many studies have found that a majority of smartphone owners check their phone for calls or messages even when their phone didnt vibrate or ring. It is one of the major sign of mobile phone dependence and should serve as a warning to mobile phone owners.

Excessive involvement in the virtual world disconnects us from the real world and affects interpersonal human communication to a great extent. The clinic also aims at helping people shun habits such as watching online pornography, indulging in unnecessary online shopping and mobile games, Dr Gupta added.

The treatment at the clinic is aimed at making people realise the gravity of the matter and channel their addictive behaviour in a positive direction.

PGIMS also plans to launch a suicide helpline and a comprehensive module on behavioural addiction.

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