Smartphone Addiction Comes First, Depression Later: Study

When people feel stressed, they should use other healthy approaches to cope, like talking to a close friend to get support or doing some exercises or meditation, the researchers suggested

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Students, Smartphones, Obesity
Over 74 per cent of people type with two thumbs, and the speed increase it offers is very large. Pixabay

In a bid to rest the debate on what comes first — smartphone addiction or depression — a new study has found that young people who are hooked on to their smartphones may be at an increased risk of depression and loneliness.

A growing body of research has identified a link between smartphone dependency and symptoms of depression and loneliness.

However, it’s been unclear whether reliance on smartphones precedes those symptoms, or whether the reverse is true — that depressed or lonely people are more likely to become dependent on their phones.

In a study of 346 participants, ages 18-20, researcher Matthew Lapierre and his collaborators from University of Arizona found that smartphone dependency predicts higher reports of depressive symptoms and loneliness, rather than the other way around.

“The main takeaway is that smartphone dependency directly predicts later depressive symptoms,” said Lapierre, assistant professor in the department of communication.

“There’s an issue where people are entirely too reliant on the device, in terms of feeling anxious if they don’t have it accessible, and they’re using it to the detriment of their day-to-day life.”

In the study, which will be published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, Lapierre and his co-authors focus on smartphone dependency rather than on general smartphone use, which can actually provide benefits.

suicide, world, deaths, study
Depression is among the leading causes of disability in the U.S. and is being closely monitored by health authorities amid rising suicides nationwide. Pixabay

Understanding the direction of the relationship between smartphone dependency and poor psychological outcomes is critical for knowing how best to address the problem, said Pengfei Zhao who co-authored the study.

“If depression and loneliness lead to smartphone dependency, we could reduce dependency by adjusting people’s mental health,” Zhao said.

“But if smartphone dependency (precedes depression and loneliness), which is what we found, we can reduce smartphone dependency to maintain or improve wellbeing.”

The researchers measured smartphone dependency by asking study participants to use a four-point scale to rate a series of statements, such as “I panic when I cannot use my smartphone.”

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The study focused on older adolescents, a population researchers say is important because they largely grew up with smartphones and they are at an age and transitional stage in life where they are vulnerable to poor mental health outcomes, such as depression.

“It might be easier for late adolescents to become dependent on smartphones, and smartphones may have a bigger negative influence on them because they are already very vulnerable to depression or loneliness,” Zhao noted.

When people feel stressed, they should use other healthy approaches to cope, like talking to a close friend to get support or doing some exercises or meditation, the researchers suggested. (IANS)

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Women Anxious Before IVF May Face Serious Mental Disorders if the Treatment Fails: Report

Dr. Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Delhi sheds light on how depression and anxiety can affect IVF

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ivf
IVF or any fertility treatment can cause anxiety in a childless couple. Pixabay

Getting bouts of anxiety while going through In-vitro fertilization (IVF) or any other fertility treatment is common for any childless couple. Dr. Aswati Nair, Fertility Consultant, Nova IVF Fertility, Delhi sheds light on how depression and anxiety can affect IVF.

But it’s pivotal that the stress should be managed initially, if it is ignored it can take an emotional toll on women’s mental health. Firstly, opting to for IVF is a life-altering decision by a couple. Though it brings with it a renewed sense of hope and purpose, the experience can be an intense for everyone involved.

According to a latest report published in the ‘Fertility and Sterility Journal’, women who are stressed and anxious before IVF can face serious mental disorders if the treatment fails. The journal further added women should not feel pressured to be a “good IVF patient” who’s free of stress. And, they should not blame themselves if they feel stressed out and their IVF attempt fails. The doctors should facilitate psychological intervention, if need be to help women feel better, and not focus entirely on just increasing their chances of pregnancy.

embryo IVF
Women should not feel pressured to be a “good IVF patient” who’s free of stress. Pixabay

Relation between depression and infertility

It is still unclear whether depression itself can cause infertility but there are some studies available which found a correlation between depression and increased rates of infertility. Some suggests that an overlap in some of the hormonal issues are involved in both conditions. Moreover, depression disrupts your daily routine and lifestyle that adversely impact the fertility. For example, depression often causes an over reaction or lack of appetite,resulting in being overweight or underweight. All these increase the chances of infertility. Besides, sometimes depressed people get addicted to smoke or liquor to get rid of their negative thoughts, resulting in infertility issues.

Can pregnancy Cure Depression?

It has been witnessed that people, who have experiences infertility failures in the past, are more prone to depression during pregnancy and also have an increased chance of getting postpartum depression. A woman or a couple needs to understand that not being able to conceive or failing to become a parent through means like surrogacy or adoption,isn’t the end o the world. It is possible to find hope and happiness again if we just shift our focus on something else for some time. If depression has taken hold, it’s unlikely to resolve on its own. Depression due to a miscarriage or failed IVF treatment is tough to overcome. Researchers have found that it can stay up to three years irrespective of if you’re pregnant or not. Therefore, counseling is pivotal throughout the grieving process so that one can overcome this dark phase and start afresh with new hopes and outlook.

pregnant IVF
Researchers have found that depression can stay up to three years irrespective of if you’re pregnant or not. Pixabay

Also Read: Above 51% Women Believe Indian Schools Don’t Have Menstrual Awareness Programme: Survey

Feeling better is the Key

Some couples feel antidepressants which are used for treatment have a negative effect on health as they cause hindrance when trying to conceive again. While once cannot completely rule this thought process out.

In fact, some studies have found that treating depression with counseling and anti-depressants together increased pregnancy success. That said, for milder depression, anti-depressant medications are just one of many treatment options. Depression can also be treated with psychological counselling, support groups, and mind-body therapies. (IANS)

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Stress Cleaning is A Real Thing

Stress cleaning is a real thing, it can be destructive or productive subjectively

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Stress Cleaning
Stress Cleaning can be good or bad, know more about it. Pixabay

Picking up cleaning equipment and getting down to clear clutter around oneself could be one possible way to cope with stress. Many health opinions suggest stress cleaning is an actual issue many people worldwide face. But, what really is stress cleaning?

“The act of cleaning, if done within limits, can bring an added benefit of exercise, which can be great for relieving stress, so called ‘stress-cleaning’. Response to stress can be subjective, for example, some people can comfort eat or exercise or some may resort to cleaning as a way of stress-busting”, states Dr Santosh Bangar, Consultant Psychiatrist, Global Hospital, Mumbai told IANSlife.

A cluttered house can lead to negative emotions like irritability, tension, worry, whereas a clean space is more likely to be linked to positive emotions like feeling happy, calm and a sense of wellbeing. People can experience a feeling of achievement or pride, enhanced self-esteem after a cleaning-up session.

What causes it?

Our brain responds to stress with a fight or flight reaction by the amygdala, which is associated with facilitating emotions like fear or anxiety. Another brain area called the prefrontal cortex regulating emotions gets deactivated and works less. So, while the stress is getting triggered, the system supposed to keep it in check is slowing down!

Stress
Stress Cleaning can be a real issue in lockdown. Pixabay

Why it could be good and bad?

The response to stress is subjective, as some people can respond well to stress or even thrive (healthy stress), while other people’s emotions can be excessive leading to a full blown panic attack, characterised by shaking of body, dryness of mouth, sweating, palpitations, rapid breathing, feeling of impending doom. If excessive stress goes undetected or untreated, it may have number of physical and mental health complications.

Depression, anxiety disorders such as panic disorder, generalised anxiety disorder, substance misuse, sleep disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and suicide in extreme cases are known complications of untreated and persistent stress. Stress cleaning can worsen or induce OCD, Dr Bangar says.

The physical health complications include, impaired blood sugar or diabetes, high blood pressure or hypertension, heart attack, impaired fat levels and uncommonly various forms of cancers.

Also Read: Young Indians Are At An Evergrowing Risk Of Hypertension

Stress management:

Various forms of relaxation techniques are useful in dealing with stress, one such being ‘stress-cleaning’ or ‘stress-baking’ during periods of social isolation or lockdown. Others can be meditation, for example, mindfulness, yoga or deep breathing exercise. Listening to soothing music, taking regular exercise are other ways of managing stress at home. Reduce caffeine, smoking and alcohol intake, getting a refreshing sleep and eating a balanced diet can go long way to reduce stress. Of course, if these measures are not enough, then one must seek specialist professional help at the earliest. (IANS)

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MediaTek to Launch Improved 5G-Integrated Chip for Smartphones

Improved 5G-integrated chip for smartphones unveiled by MediaTek

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5G mobile chip
Improved 5G-integrated chip unveiled by MediaTek. Pixabay

Taiwanese fabless semiconductor company MediaTek has unveiled an improved version of its flagship 5G chipset called Dimensity 1000+ with upgraded features for gaming, video and power efficiency.

The Dimensity 1000+ is based on the same core hardware as the Dimensity 1000 and showcases an incredible, flagship-grade user experience for smartphone users globally.
“The single chip integrates in a suite of world-leading innovations in 5G connectivity and power-efficiency, plus unique display, video and gaming technologies that make it stand out,” Yenchi Lee, Assistant General Manager of MediaTek’s wireless communications business unit said in a statement.

The MediaTek Dimensity 1000+ supports 144Hz refresh rate screens with resolution maxing out at 1080p+ and up to a 21:9 aspect ratio.

It uses the latest MiraVision technologies to improve per frame picture quality.

5G chip
Improved 5G chip introduced by Mediatek. Pixabay

Similar to its predecessor, the Dimensity 1000+ is built on a 7nm process and features an identical 5G modem.

MediaTek has added something called “5G UltraSave”, a built-in power saving mechanism that can dynamically switch between different power states to maximize the battery life.

There are also new technology additions to HyperEngine 2.0 to optimise the phone for a more fluid and immersive gaming experience.

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It comes with a Resource Management Engine to intelligently manage CPU, GPU and memory resources, an upgraded Networking Engine for call and data concurrency, an intelligent switch between 5G and 4G networks based on application needs. (IANS)