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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 25  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 76-92

Cyberpsychiatric disorders: An overview of assessment and management

Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Sandeep Grover
Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh - 160 012
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0971-8990.309968

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The advent of computers and the Internet has resulted in both positive and negative changes in day-to-day human life. These “negative changes” include physical problems such as back pain to visual problems, as well as psychological problems such as prolonged Internet use. These negative changes in the human life, as a result of excess of Internet use, are understood as “cyberpsychiatric disorders,” which are defined as the co-occurrence of excessive Internet use and current psychiatric nosology. Some of the well-known conditions include problematic Internet use (PIU), online gambling disorder, Internet gaming disorder (IGD), cyberchondria, cyber suicide, cybersexual addiction, cyberbullying/cyberstalking, and online compulsive buying. However, current nosological systems have not recognized these conditions. This article reviews the current understanding about various cyberpsychiatric conditions, their assessment, and management. Current evidence suggests that, although some of these constructs are poorly defined, some constructs such as PIU, IGD, and cyberbullying have been researched more than the other constructs. In terms of prevention and management of these disorders, mental health professionals have a big role to play. At present, very few treatment models have been evaluated and have been found to be effective. With the passage of time and digitalization of the modern age, there will be an upsurge in the number of patients suffering from these ailments and the mental health professionals must be prepared to address these issues.

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