The disorder known as Digital Dementia was coined in 2012 by the German Psychiatrist and Neuroscientist Manfred Spitzer to refer to the deterioration of cognitive abilities that occurs in individuals with addiction to technology.

These people often have difficulties concentrating, acquiring new knowledge, paying attention and solving problems no matter how insignificant they may be.

What is Digital Dementia?

It was proposed by Spitzer, who stands out for continuous studies focused on the human brain in 2012 and highlights a high percentage decrease in cognitive abilities in people who suffer from technology addiction.

As a consequence of the immersion of new technologies, many people make indiscriminate use that translates into spending long hours of their lives behind a computer, immersed in their Androids, in a Tablet or any other device.

These habits can enclose an addiction to technology and the subject gets used to the ease that this tool offers them and they do not undertake any type of physical or mental effort to solve the simplest problems in life. They get used to turning to technology to solve the simplest challenge.

They are people who, when asked for their own telephone number, do not know it because they have never seen the need to record them in their memory since the devices have been in charge of doing this for them. In severe cases they get lost if they lack the GPS.

Spitzer points out that to the extent that people rely on the use of technologies for the execution of all tasks, the brain is no longer stimulated to work and this results in cognitive skills deteriorating in a similar way to what happens before the appearance of psychiatric illnesses, brain injuries or during the aging process.

How does this disorder affect us?

Digital dementia generates a deterioration of cognitive abilities that translates into:

  • Concentration problems : It is related to the inability to focus on a task without distractions. People with the disorder become quite scattered.
  • Difficulty for attention : This is the use of resources or tools available to coordinate and execute any type of task.
  • Short-term memory impairment : It involves the inability to acquire new knowledge or accumulate information.
  • Association capacity dysfunction : Optimal brain function is required to make associations, which diminishes with Digital Dementia.
  • Decreased creativity: To the extent that the brain is not stimulated on a regular basis through work, it will be less creative.
  • Lack of motivation : The low generation of ideas, creativity and imagination affects motivation. The person may come to perceive that he has no power over his life.

Other side effects on a physical level are: Obesity, Diabetes, Arterial Hypertension, circulatory problems, among others.

How to reverse these effects?

There are many measures that can be used to counteract the effects of Digital Dementia, among them we will highlight the following:

  • Spitzer recommends practicing reading regularly but not from digital books but from printed documents that stimulate memory and imagination.
  • Incorporating exercise or any physical activity into your daily routine improves physical and emotional well-being.
  • Exercise memory by learning your own and family’s phone numbers, addresses, important dates, among others.
  • Play a musical instrument, learn new song lyrics and sing along.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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