A Netflix addict checked himself into rehab last week after spending more than six months binge watching seven hours of shows every day.
The unidentified 26-year-old man turned to TV as a way of escaping the stress of unemployment, according to The Hindu newspaper.
Netflix became his way of coping with the pressure of earning a living, said Manoj Kumar Sharma, professor of clinical psychology who heads up the Service for Healthy Use of Technology clinic at the National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bengaluru, India
“He would watch the shows on offer continuously,” explained Sharma. “It was a method of escapism. He could forget about his problems, and he derived immense pleasure from it.”
However, the feel-good effects were short-lived and the man eventually lost all self-control, developed eye strain, fatigue and interrupted sleeping patterns, The Hindu noted.
It’s widely believed that too much TV time can negatively impact a person’s health, but how dramatic the effects are can be underestimated.
According to the HuffPost, binge-watching can lead to weight gain and diabetes, it can increase a person’s aggression, damage relationships and ultimately it could shorten lives.
To help the man in India overcome his Netflix addiction, doctors at SHUT are addressing the psychological factors that may have triggered the condition, The Hindu Times reported.
Sharma noted that this was the most extreme form of TV addiction he had witnessed however, there were many patients in his clinic receiving treatment for gaming addiction.
Earlier this year, the World Health Organization officially recognized “gaming disorder” as a disease following expert consensus over the addictive risks associated with playing electronic games.
There has been controversy over whether gaming addiction can be classified on the same level as conditions such as alcohol or drug addiction, the American Addiction Center noted.
However, researchers believe the brain chemistry that is triggered during gaming is similar to that of other addictive activities.
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