Obsessive Consumption Disorder: Tackling the problem of handheld digital addiction

Research output: Contribution to journalMeeting Abstractpeer-review


The safety of new technologies are always interrogated in the
media upon release, with predictions being made as to their long term effects and impact upon the mental health and wellbeing of users. However, the long term impacts are often unpredictable and difficult to plan for. This paper will draw on the combined experience of the co-authors to highlight the dangers of digital addiction, looking beyond online gambling and into the worlds of gaming, social media and augmented reality. Whether it is the pressure of posting, the time consuming nature of inhabiting the digital world, the impact of likes, or the purchasing of loot boxes, digital addiction can come in a wide variety of guises which are barely understood and even less accepted. After all, aren’t these online worlds just a game? Or a way to chat online? With suicide being one of the biggest killers for men under 50 and addiction being statistically more prevalent in men, this paper questions the role of the digital world in happiness, wellbeing and asks whether it is gendered.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
JournalJournal of Psychiatry
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020
EventInternational Conference on Mental Health and Human Resilience - Rome, Italy
Duration: 9 Mar 202010 Mar 2020
Conference number: 8

Bibliographical note

Open Access journal under a CC-BY licence


  • Online mental health and wellbeing
  • smartphones
  • social media
  • addiction
  • Suicide & self-harm
  • gaming
  • digital
  • anthropology
  • social anthropology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Phychiatric Mental Health


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