Raushan Karimova: Smartphones and social networks - means of informational addiction
Almaty. May 8. KazTAG - Madina Alimkhanova. Parents of modern teenagers have to protect them not only from cigarettes and beer. Wipe, energy drinks and even smartphones can cause addiction. Raushan Karimova, doctor of psychological sciences told KazTAG how dangerous it is and how to protect a teenager from the harmful effects.
- Raushan Beydaliyevna, smoking or drinking alcohol among teenagers was considered a problem. Then gambling appeared. Now parents of teenagers are forced to fight with wipes, energy drinks and social networks. Can they be called an addiction?
- Yes, of course, all these can be considered as an addiction, and, moreover, very serious, because these things affect the underlying subcortical processes, which are based on attraction, on the most primitive feelings.
Wipes are advertised as means which do not contain anything particularly dangerous, but looking at the conduct of their consumers, by the way they use them and in what state they fall, it seems that something is added to the wipe liquid at the request of customers or without their knowledge. And when, willy-nilly, you come across the smell of wipes, you realize that they are not so harmless.
Now marijuana is very widespread. In European countries, in America, the use of marijuana "for medical purposes" is already permitted. So, it is quite possible that it is quietly coming to us, and in this way our young people are taught that its use is affordable. Therefore, there is a need for a very large and responsible work of schools, psychologists, social teachers, and classroom management, so that we do not miss this problem, do not waste the time, and do not lose our children.
Now about energy drinks. I believe that energy drinks should be equated to alcohol. Their chemical composition is very harmful, they not only roughly affect cortex and subcortical structures, they contain substances that destroy the liver, which subsequently cause gross changes in the immunity. In fact, the energy drinks culture is being formed in our country, advertising is placed on most mass cultural events, energy drinks are easily accessible there, and young people think that in order to show themselves, they should drink those drinks. It also requires the active intervention of school psychologists and the parent community.
A very big problem is that there is no one to work with parents. Teachers work at schools, doctors work only on the fact of treatment. As a result, the parent community turns out to be completely illiterate, they believe that the modern child knows everything that is necessary and do not see any harm in it, with rare exceptions.
- How do wipes and energy drinks affect the brain?
- It all depends on the composition. The composition may contain substances of toxic action, which may have pleasant smell. Anything can be added to wipe fluids. If drugs are tested in pharmacopia, here we have an absolutely uncontrolled process. Toxic substances can act very roughly depending on the degree of purification, on where and how they were produced, and the consequences can be up to toxic encephalopathy. Their effect may be similar to the action of unpurified surrogate alcohol.
As for the energy drinks, first of all liver if affected, and depending on the substances contained there, they can affect the brain. The worst thing is that all toxic substances primarily affect the cortex, the neurons, and subsequently the intellect, behavior control, ability to assess the situation, that is, all higher mental functions.
- What is more dangerous: beer, cigarettes or wipe and energy drinks?
- Beer in big quantities is no less dangerous, cigarettes are no less dangerous, especially for a young body. The main thing is that it does not become a major pastime, when there is a desire only to smoke cigarettes or to drink beer or energy drinks. If the use of beer or cigarettes, or other substances becomes systematic, and an irresistible attraction arises, of course, it is very dangerous.
- What is the difference between this addiction and a usual bad habit?
- A bad habit is when a person does something from time to time when a free minute appears. When a person has nothing to do, he suddenly remembers that it is necessary, for example, to smoke. Addiction is irresistible craving for smoking or drinking. It overshadows everything - work, vital interests, everything goes to the second and third place and only one desire remains, the motivation of all life processes comes down to getting this pleasure.
- Is it possible to overcome it without a help of narcologist?
- Of course, with this we must begin. I believe that the cause of all addictions and bad habits lies in the fact that the child has no activities, goals, motivation, he has nowhere to go, and there is no formation of an attitude in the family Some parents give the child all possible material benefits and believe that it is enough. A child may experience supersaturation, he has everything and wants noting. And then he starts looking for new adventures, he may try to drink something, or smoke, and this new occupation overshadows everything. Of course, it is very dangerous and it is necessary first of all to find a common language with a child and redirect all the interests to something important, positive and constructive.
- Is it possible that a teenager starts with a wipe, and ends up with drugs?
- Of course. A person has a threshold of sensitivity and if he gets used to something, he will eventually need a larger dose, that is the case with alcohol or cigarettes. Similarly, if a person has tried a wipe and there is some kind of drug, with abnormal chemical relaxation, naturally he will want this more and more, because the perception sensitivity threshold rises. And in this situation it is much easier to switch to drugs, this is a direct path: from wipes to drugs.
- Now there is a lot of information that synthetic drugs are traded on the Almaty Arbat. Can they cause addiction with a single use?
- The state of the body is important. If a teenager is weakened, if he has low immunity, even a light narcotic can cause addiction, but there are drugs that cause addiction from one pill or from one dose. And the people who traffic drugs just use it, offering such drugs first of all to new consumers. If the child is out of control of the parents, if there is no emotional contact with the parents, if he has a confrontation with the parents, or at school, then he may try to stifle his condition with drugs.
- What are the signs which help one determine that a teenager is already addicted to drugs?
- Each drug has its own characteristics - these are certain pupillary reactions, certain sleep disorders. If we exclude that a teenager in the morning surfs a telephone or a computer, then a sign of drug use is absolute sleep inversion - insomnia at night and drowsiness during the day. If a teenager changes his mood dramatically, if he wakes up in the morning, becomes aggressive, rushes somewhere, if he loses his vital interests, loses self-control - these are terrible signs that need to be paid attention to. Parents should also pay attention to why a teenager is lethargic, why he is apathetic, why he is not interested in anything, why he is lying all day or suddenly jumps up and goes somewhere. Taking drugs may cause an uncontrollable bulimia, anorexia in an adolescent, or a loss of appetite.
- There was time when audio-drug were actively advertised on the Internet — sound files that allegedly contained some special noises that cause a state similar to narcotic intoxication. Is such an impact really possible?
- Of course. It is like a musical Buddhist or Hindu religious practices. They have frequencies that cause relaxation. Of course, not every teenager will be sensitive to this, but in general it is possible. Even for an ordinary person, slow melodic music in certain situations can cause relaxation, but it is unlikely to cause the need to constantly listen to it. It has a short-term effect, although those who use soft drugs can use similar sound files to speed up entry into a state of relaxation. Some musical instruments or visual images can cause a trance state.
- There are many teenagers who do not drink, do not smoke, but they cannot get off the phone and social networks. Can this be considered an addiction and how harmful is it?
- I think that it is informational addiction, and, moreover, it is really terrible. If drugs have to be found somewhere, in this case parents give the phone to the children in their hands, so that he would sit nearby, not to go away or interfere. The child breaks away from the real world, he looses all vital interests and needs, the desire to develop, to grow, to learn. The child surfs the mobile phone or the computer; he gets carried away with various games. These games are constructed in such a way that one can stop, there is a continuous plot, and the child cannot stop until it passes to the end. It is realy scary.
Almost every teenager has a cell phone which he gets from his parents. Moreover, now grandmothers give cellphones to their grandchildren so that they do not interfere with their watching TV shows. Already a six-month child can get a phone. He does not know how to speak, but he is already looks at this phone and realizes that now it will be interesting for him and he will get pleasure. And one-year-old children quietly goes to YouTube and their parents are delighted with what an advanced child they have. Parents believe that, if they provide developing programs for children, they develop a child. In fact, there is no development there. The child becomes tied to a primitive game. Games, as a rule, are narrow-minded, stupid: just catch up, find, kill.
Of course, today drugs are a big problem, but a cell phone is even worse, because it is an invisible threat.
- Is it possible to somehow wean a child from this?
- It is. Often parents fall into despair when they see that their child no longer wants to study. Sometimes children start to blackmail - small ones make tantrums, and those that are older declare: “If you don’t give me the phone, I’ll throw myself out of the window” or “I will kill myself”. Therefore, taking a cell phone, it is necessary to give something in return. It is necessary to improve relationships and be close to the child, to do something together, to go somewhere together, to take a walk, to go to a concert, to theater. We must offer the child some kind of game that allows self-development - a complex form of Lego, cubes, drawing. Each child has some talent, abilities for something and the child must be interested in order to reveal it. If you pick up the phone and give nothing in return, then there will be no sense from it, and the child will still force the parents to give him this cell phone.
- Thanks for the interview!