A FIFTH of young people in Spain, aged between 10 and 25, suffer from behavioural problems due to an addiction to digital devices.
This is according to a survey of 4,000 youths which will be included in the new National Drugs Plan from the Health Ministry.
It found that about 90 per cent of teenagers possess between two and five personal video games, mobile phones or other devices.
Symptoms of being obsessed with technology include irregular hours, bad sleeping habits, failure to fulfil responsibilities and even violence.
But the ‘non-substance addiction’ is not classed as an illness and does not feature in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5), compiled by the American Psychiatric Association.
Gambling is the only addictive behaviour recognised by the association, which relates mainly to addiction to substances such alcohol, tobacco, stimulants, marijuana and opiates.
Founder of the Family Online Safety Institute, Stephen Balkam advised applying common sense rather than ‘demonizing’ technology, and advised designating technology-free zones around the house.
And a spokesperson from Puerta de Hierro Hospital in Madrid claims not everyone becomes hooked to technology, those who have good social skills or play sports are more resistant.