"The hardest button to press nowadays, is the 'logout' button," Indian Psychiatric Society president, G Prasad Rao, had said at an event in Madhya Pradesh in January.
His words are ringing truer than ever now that the country's premier medical institution, the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) has started a special psychiatric out-patient department (OPD) for people who are addicted to the Internet, says a report in the Times of India.
According to the report, the OPD has been opened for people — especially school and college students — who face serious mental problems because of excessive involvement with social media, online games and virtual reality.
The National Center for Biotechnology Information, US, defines cyber addiction as:
"Excessive or poorly controlled preoccupations, urges or behaviours regarding computer use and internet access that lead to impairment or distress..."
The TOI report mentioned that some people had become so addicted to the virtual world that they had lost interest in studies, human contact, and even hygiene.
In February this year, two brothers aged 22 and 19 had been admitted to the Ram Manohar Lohia (RML) hospital in Delhi for urinating and defecating while playing games, because they couldn't even get away from the screen for a few minutes.
India Today had reported:
Glued to their gaming consoles, the brothers had stopped doing their daily chores like studying, eating and sleeping. The addiction worsened when the two stopped using toilet and would defecate in their clothes while playing.
With virtual reality consoles becoming more and more popular, people are often seen behaving in a manner totally unlike their usual behavioural pattern.
On Tuesday, The Sun reported that a woman had been "sexually harassed" in the virtual realm by a "pervert cyber-groper".
The woman shared her experience in a Medium post:
"...Even when I turned away from him, he chased me around, making grabbing and pinching motions near my chest. Emboldened, he even shoved his hand toward my virtual crotch and began rubbing. There I was, being virtually groped in a snowy fortress with my brother-in-law and husband watching."
Also On HuffPost: