After drugs, it is internet addiction that now threatens to take the school going children of Punjab in its deadly sway. Children as young as eleven are going into depression all because of internet addiction, which is breaking out in their midst like an epidemic.
Not only depression, a majority of these young internet addicts have also become victims of unhealthy sleep patterns and internet-imposed isolation that is taking them away from their parents and families, with a number of them sneaking smart phones, which are not allowed in their schools, inside their classrooms.
The cries of their parents have reached the ears of Bhatia Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, which has teamed up with Spring Dale Senior School to establish The Hermitage Institute of life skills Management Programme to deal with this menace that is attaining alarming proportions in Punjab.
Giving details, Dr JPS Bhatia, of Bhatia Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, said that internet addiction in the present scenario is the most popular form of addiction which has enveloped every strata of society. "It has lead to further de humanization of the society. Our hospital has received requests from help from parents in Amritsar, Ludhiana and other places in Punjab," he said.
He added that in the past three months the hospital has received and cured at least 15 children suffering from internet addiction. "The craze for internet is keeping children away from their parents with the effect that children are surfing the internet way past their bedtime and find it hard to cope up with their studies the next day in school. Some children that came to us for help were also found to be suffering from depression also caused by internet addiction," he said.
Dr Bhatia added that The Hermitage Rehabilitation Institute would cater to such patients through counseling and medical support. Its network would spread awareness by organizing workshops for students and parents.