THE PREVALENCE OF BLACKBERRY ADDICTION AMONG NIGERIANS


INTRODUCTION
The quick development and widespread use of mobile phones, and their vast effect on communication and interactions as made it important to study possible negative health effects of mobile phone exposure. The overall aim of this study was to investigate whether there are associations between psychosocial aspects of mobile phone use and mental health symptoms among Nigerians.

People world have become increasingly enthusiastic in embracing mobile digital communication equipment (Katz and Aakhus, 2002). Mobile phones in particular have helped to create this new world (Chen, 2006). Mobile phones, has Coghill (2001) comments, are “the most radiative domestic appliance ever invented”. More than one out of six people worldwide now have mobile phones (Katz, 2005) and for many people the mobile phones has become an essential part of everyday life (Chen, 2006).
Mobile phones are of varying types and forms from different makers. The varieties of phones are; the Black Berry (BB), Samsung, Sony Ericsson, Nokia, Techno, amongst others. This study will focus on Black Berry, developed and designed by Canadian company named, Research in Motion (RIM, 1999 to date).
Black Berry devices are smartphones, designed to function as personal digital assistants, portable media players, internet browsers, gaming devices, and much more. They are primarily known for their ability to send and receive (push) email and instant messages while maintaining a high level of security through on-device message encryption. Black Berry devices support a large variety of instant messaging features, including Black Berry messenger (RIM, 2005).
Black berry messenger, also known as BBM, software for sending and receiving encrypted instant messages, voice notes, images and video via Black Berry pin. Some of the BBM include groups, bar code scanning, lists, shared calendar, BBM music and integration with applications and games using the BBM social platform.
As Nigerians rely on the Black Berry phones for business and social network, the level of use of the device is becoming more worrisome. Black Berry is not only becoming an indispensable tool for high flying Nigerians, the increasing demand for Black Berry and current fad as a status symbol could result in widespread health hazards for Nigerians (Azeez, 2011).
National mirror survey (2012) reveals that there are over 200.000 Nigerians already hooked to the BB, now regarded as the most effective and efficient communication tool for business executive and also for staying connected to friends, relatives and associates on personal level.
As the BB phones become cheaper and more sophisticated, sales have become more common (Leung 2001).
Despite whether excessive use of various technologies, such as mobile phone use, internet surfing, TV watching, and computer gaming , can be or should be called an “addiction” (Leung 2001), scholars have argued that excessive use of technology can be considered problematic (Griffiths, 1998; Griffiths and Hunt, 1998; Shotton, 1989). Studies have shown that texting and the instant gratification of getting a text back floods the brain’s pleasure centre with the mood enhancing dopamine. “Neuro-imaging studies have shown that those who are texting have the same area of the brain light up as an addict using heroin (Seyffort ..........).
Addiction can be substance addiction (such as heroin, cocaine, marijuana) or non substance/behavioural addiction (such as gambling, gaming, internet, phones).
Addiction, to anything is the dependence to gain pleasure and cope with life through it. It comes with the compulsion or intense urge to engage in the act. Limayem (2011) in his work said, “ evidence of compulsive behaviour bring to light the notion that the underlying motivator to use a mobile phone is not pleasure ... but rather a response to heightened stress and anxiety.
Many Nigerians are observed to be involved in Black Berry use. “The paradox of the phone is that it gives independence but it also creates dependence” (James Diana, 2007). Addiction danger signs include running up huge bills and having irrational reactions to being with, forget or lost the phone (James Diana, 2007).
“It’s not so much talking on the phone that’s typically the problem although that can have consequences too, it’s this need to be connected, to know what is going on and be available to other people. That is one of the hallmarks of cell phone addiction (Merlo Lisa, 2012).
 “Frequent users often become anxious when they are forced to turn off the phone” (Health, Research, Technology, 2007). When (cell phone over use) really becomes problematic or a lot of people is if they have underlying anxiety or depression, this can really exacerbate it or (cause) their symptoms to manifest themselves (Marlo, 2012).
Many Nigerians may not admit to their Black Berry addiction to families when questioned or tried to take away their time from the phone use. “I don’t have a problem,” or “I am having fun, leave me alone” might be an addict’s response (James, 2007).  Also, addiction danger signs included running up huge bills and having anxiety being without a phone if you forget or lost your mobile (Grohol, 2007).

Obsessive Compulsive disorder is a type of anxiety disorder. Anxiety is a state of uneasiness, accompanied by dysphoria (discomfort or anguish) and symptoms of tension.
Obsessive and Compulsive disorder (OCD) is the awful, intrusive thoughts coming into the mind, even when you try to keep them out and you have to engage in an action repeatedly and ritualistic like checking on phone, counting things or washing over and over.
In Obsessive compulsive disorder, there is the obsession behaviour (recurrent thought) and compulsion behaviour (the thing you do over and over again). The behaviour or mental act are aimed at reducing distress but in turn is distressful.
OCD is the fourth most common mental disorder, and is diagnosed nearly too often as asthma and diabetes mellitus. In the United States, one in 50 adults suffers from OCD (Wikipedia, 2012). OCD affects children, adolescents as well as adults.
 Studies have placed the prevalence of the disorder at between one and three percent, although the prevalence of clinically recognised OCD is much lower. Suggesting that many individuals with the disorder may not be diagnosed (Wikipedia, 2012).
Depression is one of various types of mood disorder. It is a state of sadness, gloom, and pessimistic ideation, with loss of interest or pleasure in normally enjoyable activities (Colman, 2003). The word depression is part o f our everyday language. It is important to realise that feeling depressed is not the same thing as having a depressive disorder. Technically, when people say they feel depressed, “low,” or “down,” they are experiencing a depressed mood (Sarason and sarason, 2005).
It is not yet very common in Nigeria to go for treatment when they are depressed, except when they are being referred to a psychologist, by the physicians. People may therefore, device means of elevating their mood. Research shows that mood disorders and substance abuse commonly occurs together (National Institute of Mental Health, 2011). The abuse n the case of this study could be Black Berry.

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
 Many research works have investigated possible mental health problems in relation to phone use. Researches has been carried out in America (Leung, 1999, 2007), Korea (Koo, 2007), Taiwan (Chen, 2004, 2005, 2006) and many other parts of the world but there is dearth of such researches in Nigeria. Aside Newspaper articles, organised research on mental health implications of phone use are yet to be explored among Nigerians.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The research is out to find out;
·        To the prevalence of BlackBerry addiction among Nigerians.
·        To know if there is an underlining mental disorder (OCD, stress and depression) among Nigerian Black Berry addicts.
·        To know if the social factors (age, gender, occupation, financial status) of such an individual predispose him or her to Black Berry addiction.
·        To know if it is the presence of the mental disorders (OCD, stress and depression) predisposed such an individual to Black Berry addiction.
·         Or the Black Berry addiction predisposed such an individual to mental disorders ()
·         
PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
·        This research work is to investigate the addiction prevalence and to possibly proffer solution to curb the widespread.
·        To gain insight into the possible causes of BB addiction and give recommendations based on the research outcome
·        To serve has an empirical baseline and or guide to therapy. That is, it help the Clinical psychologist know what to focus on during treatment therapy for such individuals.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The research is aimed at
·        Finding out the possible predisposing factor to Black Berry addiction.
·        Finding out if use of phone -Black Berry in particular- is a way of coping with depression, stress and/or anxiety
·        To know the level of Black Berry use.



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