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Are you a text addict? Check out here

If texting addiction is a new term for you, check all about it here. You never know if you are some addict even though you keep tobacco and alcohol at bay.

When we generally talk about addiction, what strikes your head first? Probably cigarettes, booze, marijuana, etc. However, for this 19-year-old from Kolkata, her addiction of texting over phone compelled her to be a school dropout and landed her in one of the premier mental health institutes of the country National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro Sciences (NIMHANS). She was found glued to texting for at least 10 to 12 hours a day. She was so obsessed about receiving and sending texts that she had developed several related difficulties like pain in her fingers, neck ache and disturbed sleeping patterns. This first-of-its kind case has been a shocker to her doctors. This is a new addition to the list of addictions texting addiction, as the experts say. Although it is a rare concept in India now, western countries have seen similar cases of texting addiction for the last few years.

What is texting addiction?

Our smartphones these days are major triggering agents of dopamine loop that makes you addicted to seeking information in an endless loop and texting addiction is one such condition, say experts.

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Dopamine a compound present in the body as a neurotransmitter and a precursor of other substances including adrenaline, activates a loop instigating an urge to seek more and get rewarded and again seek for the reward. This is why we almost can't stop checking emails, texts or our phones, believe the psychiatrists.

red flags to watch out for

Here's a checklist for those who aren't aware if they are a text addict as well. These are the primary symptoms indicating texting addiction among all age groups.

  • An urge to check the cell phone at frequent intervals, half-hourly to hourly.
  • An urgent need to immediately respond to texts.
  • Being all ears to every cellphone beeps and pings on chat.
  • Disturbed sleeping patterns due to continuous texting.
  • Irritation in eyes, headache, neck pain, finger pain, stress due to extensive texting.
  • Depression due to not getting text response as per expectation.
  • Anxiety and aggressiveness due to lack of adequate sleep, delay in receiving prompt response to texts.
  • Inability to spend to spend time with family, friends due to increasing attachment with the cell phone.

Overcome this addiction

Now that we know the symptoms of texting addiction, we should also learn about several ways to overcome it. Here are a few to help you develop healthy cell phone and texting habit.

  • Get off your cellphone at least an hour before sleep.
  • Do not carry your cellphone in hand. Instead, put it in your bag or purse.
  • Fix a 'no phone time' in the day and make sure you are either away from your cell phone or it is turned off during these hours.
  • Set a 'stopping rule' while using your cell phone. You either fix a specific time for checking out your phone when you are out or leave home with minimum phone charge.
  • Make it a habit to not use your cell phone during family gatherings and get-together with friends.

Hope this article helps you in working on better texting habit.

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