Tens of thousands of Londoners hooked on web porn and games

Internet addiction Therapy in london

Are you finding yourself spending more and more time on your laptop, tablet or smartphone?

An article in the  Evening Standard newspaper recently addressed the growing trend in Londoners becoming addicted to the the internet. Ten’s of thousands of us are “hooked on web porn and games”; To name but a few of the internet-based activities people partake in.

London Lifestyle

London is a busy place and as a result, we need some downtime to distress after our busy day. We spend so much of our working life on some kind of technological platform at work, that it seems only natural to continue using technology when we finish.

I can hear many of you say, ‘well what’s the problem with using my phone to distress after a long day at work?’

Unlike reading a book or a newspaper, the apps on our smartphones and on the internet are laced with addictive mechanics that keep us coming back again and again.

Game Mechanics

You didn’t lose that game of Candy Crush because you picked the yellow candy chain over the purple one, but because the game mechanics did not want you to continue.

Forget for a moment apps with addictive game mechanics built in; how about phone calls and text messages?

Do you find yourself checking and rechecking your phone for messages even when on the tube with no signal? You do that because you have no one watching you, checking up on you or judging you.
It’s your virtual world in which you can do and be whoever you want, with no consequences. It slowly becomes easier and more comfortable to live within the medium of the virtual world rather than the physical one.

Mirrored by comments in the article by the Psychiatrist Dr Henrietta Bowden-Jones who states:
“We see people who prefer their virtual life to daily reality, who can arrive extremely obese and haven’t moved for weeks, or I have seen people who are extremely thin and malnourished.”

The Virtual World

The ease of the virtual world becomes all consuming. We don’t need to impress the opposite sex because there is pornography to suit any taste. We can feel powerful by humiliating someone on Twitter or levelling up on World of Warcraft. Our virtual identities become more important than our physical ones.

This is not isolated to London, but is happening up and down the country.  When one worried mother contacted the psychologist she stated “When I contacted Henrietta she said I was the fifth person that week.”

With the London lifestyle so fast paced, competitive and stressful. It is not surprising me that we seek a quick technology fix to quell our anxiety.
Just like drugs, legal and illegal, we must notice when we are in control of them or whether it is in control of us.

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5 ways Room (Movie) draws parallels to the Oedipus complex

room movie Therapy in London

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I recently saw, ‘Room‘ (Original novel and screenplay by Emma Donoghue) which follows the story of a mother and son (Jack, aged 5) trapped in a room by a male abductor.

 

The story is told from the perspective of the 5-year-old who was born in the room. He has lived within the confines of the four walls his entire life.  His only relationship is with his mother, who gives her undivided attention; cooks cleans and cares for him.  He makes sense of the outside world through 2 or 3 TV channels, which to him, ‘magic TV land’.

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Anti-depressants ‘no more effective than counselling’

antidepressants - Therapy in London

A study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) has found that anti-depressants are no more effective than counselling.

The rate of prescription drugs tackling depression has doubled in the last 10 years with “57.1 million prescriptions dispensed in 2014. Yet in my experience, a number of counselling services have dropped in recent years due to, as many of them say ‘ lack of funding.’

The report states that sometimes, people have to take the anti-depression drugs instead of counselling. This is due to the “limited access to counselling, where there are often long waiting lists”.

Need for Counselling

More and more people require mental health services. Why is it that funding has been cut for services that many people suffering from depression want and need? The Professor of Psychological Medicine at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience, states that the highest rates of recovery are from those having both together. 

It seems that we are letting down the people in need of mental health services. When, in fact, the need for mental health services is rising.

Therapy in London

 

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Smartphones vs Thinking Space

thinking space Therapy in London

Smartphones have made the internet and connectivity ever present. We take our phones wherever we go and feel lost without them. We feel we need connectivity but, as discussed previously, it is a much deeper need than that.

 

Smartphones are our catalyst for instant gratification. Any time we feel bored or restless we can pick up our phone and get a little spike of serotonin by looking at a picture of a funny cat. Validating our virtual image on social media, or catching a missed call or text.

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Avatars: Resurrecting passed loved ones

Avitar hologram - Therapy in London

.I was struck by an article I read in the Daily Telegraph (27/10/15). The article was based of the ambition the animator and tech developer, Simon Keown

He was speaking at an exhibition on the ability to create a 3D avatar of a passed loved one. He does this through rendering pictures and videos of  the decist loved one.

This loved one would be interactive and able to ‘know’ what you have been up to by connecting to your social media feed.

The quote by Benjamin Franklin comes to mind “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”.

Soon, for the living at least, that view might be outdated.

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The Link Between Addictive Cues and Smart Phone Usage

addictive cue therapy in London

I was in a lecture recently on the subject of substance abuse and drug addiction. Specifically, on the way that dopamine is triggered by not just the use of drugs, but also cues associated with that drug. For example, returning to the same room you took the drug in, or being with the same people you took the drugs with. These cues are not exclusive to drugs but any addictive behaviour, such as gambling or on-line gaming.

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Facebook Offline Advertising: What’s the Point?

facebook-logo Therapy London

Facebook is a place where friends go to make meaningful connections.

I was reading the newspaper and as I finished, I noticed the advert on the back page – Bold blue background with a small letterbox picture of a couple, with the word ‘Friends’, written underneath. At the bottom of the page was the Facebook logo. Very odd, I thought, everyone knows about Facebook, why would they need to advertise?

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