Newly-weds! The cause of your dissatisfying sex life is your smartphone
Doctors from leading psychiatry institutes say smartphone addiction is hampering the married life of newly-wed couples in India and reducing sexual intimacy among partners as early as a month after marriage.sex and relationships Updated: May 10, 2016 20:12 IST
If you are spending more time clicking away on that smartphone of yours at the cost of your partner, it’s time for a reality check.
Doctors from leading psychiatry institutes say smartphone addiction is hampering the married life of newly-wed couples in India and reducing sexual intimacy among partners as early as a month after marriage.
The Ranchi Institute of Neuro Psychiatry and Allied Sciences (RINPAS), popularly known as the Ranchi asylum, has treated at least seven such patients, who gave more time to their smartphones than their newly-wed spouses causing serious rifts in their relationship, in the past one year.
The Central Institute of Psychiatry (CIP) in Ranchi, one of the few centre-run psychiatry care units in India, also witnessed at least three such cases in the past six months.
“In a majority of these cases, the partners lost interest in each other as they remained engrossed in their respective smartphones, either surfing the net or playing video games. Many complained that there was no sexual or emotional intimacy between the couple, creating distance and differences between the partners,” Dr Neha Syed, associate professor of clinical psychology at CIP, said.
According to a report by Counterpoint Research released earlier this year, India is the second largest smartphone market in the world with 220 million active smartphone users.
People are busy connecting more with the world around via social networks not only in metropolitan cities but also in semi-urban areas despite poor internet connectivity.
This ‘overindulgence’ in the virtual world is taking people away from the real world and pushing them towards unstable mental health, fear doctors.
Dr Amool Ranjan, head of the clinical psychology department of RINPAS, said some of these couples living in the metros were unwilling to come out of their respective virtual worlds.
“Parents of two such couples contacted me in the past month or so seeking counselling for their children. The couples admitted the fact that they hardly interacted with each other and had become used to spending time with their respective gadgets,” Ranjan said.
Rahul (name changed), a Ranchi man settled in Bengaluru, was addicted to chatting with strangers on dating websites. Three months after his marriage, his wife complained of his addiction to her in-laws and sought counselling for him.
Doctors from Ranchi referred him to a psychiatrist in his city. However, there was no update on his condition available with RINPAS.
“Some patients get so used to chatting on the internet that they fail to extract the same pleasure while talking to someone in person,” Ranjan said referring to a case from Noida wherein the couple had accepted each other’s addiction to internet and phones and were living together.
Dr AK Nag, a senior professor at RINPAS, said such cases require special care since a majority of the addicted persons do not accept their condition. “If a person fails to make eye contact while talking and keeps staring at his phone instead, he is probably addicted,” said Nag.
For de-addiction, doctors use counselling sessions and therapies that are time-taking but effective. Patients are asked to spend time with their family and friends so that they realise there is a world outside their gadgets, say doctors.
“We ask them to not use their phones for two hours in the first week, then gradually increase the time to four hours, six hours and finally 12 hours. During these hours, we ask the patients to go on an outing with their partners,” Dr Syed said.