Psychiatric Warns Nigerians Not To Be Addicted To ICT

Dr Maymunah Kadiri, President, Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, has said that addiction to Information Communication Technology (ICT) may result to multiple health complications, despite its benefits.

Kadiri said this on Friday at a lecture entitled “Information Technology, the new drug of addiction”, organised by the association.

She added that even though immense benefits could be derived from information technology, including social networks, e-mails, internet, phones, games, television and radio, they could also become very addictive.

The President said that addiction to these devices cut across all age groups– from childhood to adulthood– as different groups of people were addicted to different devices.

Kadiri said that addiction was said to have occurred if a person concentrated extensively on the devices and neglected other aspects of his or her life.

“Addiction causes marital discord, shallow relationships, lack of personal hygiene and social interaction with other people, loss of good eating habits and poor academic performance.

“When a person is addicted to social networks, television and the internet, he or she often forgets to do anything else.

“Some forget their personal hygiene, food; some do not bother to interact with other people and discord between husband and wife grows”, she said

“Very good things emerge from Information technology but at the same time, we have got to be very careful about what price we are paying.

She said that various researches had shown that people were becoming addicted to the Internet social network, such as facebook and twitter, just as others became addicted to drugs, alcohol, or gambling, which also resulted in academic failure.

Kadiri advised children to be cautious when watching television, playing games on the internet, adding that adults should watch the way they use information technology devices, so as not to get addicted.

In his contribution, Dr Edamisan Temiye, Chairman, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), lamented the inadequate number of psychiatrists in the country.

Temiye added that mentally ill people were often left unattended to, due to inadequate manpower.?

He stressed the need to hasten the grooming of students who were currently studying psychiatry in schools, so as to employ more hands in the profession.

Temiye urged the government to invest more in the training and retraining of psychiatrists in the country, to adequately cater for the mentally ill.

“It costs a lot to train psychiatrists, therefore, we are urging the government to invest more in their training,” he said.