Mental Health in the Digital Age: Grave Dangers, Great Promise
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The Internet and related technologies have reconfigured every aspect of life, including mental health. Although the negative and positive effects of digital technology on mental health have been debated, all too often this has been done with much passion and few or no supporting data. In Mental Health in the Digital Age, Elias Aboujaoude and Vladan Starcevic have edited a book that brings together distinguished experts from around the world to review the evidence relating to this area.
The first part of the book addresses threats resulting from the growing reliance on, and misuse of, digital technology; it also looks at how some problematic behaviors and forms of psychopathology have been shaped by this technology. This section reviews problematic Internet and video game use, effects of violent video games on the levels of aggression and of online searches for health-related information on the levels of health anxiety, use of digital technology to harm other people, and promotion of suicide on the Internet.
The second part of Mental Health in the Digital Age examines the ways in which digital technology has boosted efforts to help people with mental health problems. These include the use of computers, the Internet, and mobile phones to educate and provide information necessary for psychiatric treatment and to produce programs for psychological therapy, as well as use of electronic mental health records to improve care.
Mental Health in the Digital Age is a unique and timely book because it examines comprehensively an intersection between digital technology and mental health and provides a state-of-the-art, evidence-based, and well-balanced look at the field. The book is a valuable resource and guide to an area often shrouded in controversy, as it is a work of critical thinking that separates the hype from the facts and offers data-driven conclusions. It is of interest particularly to mental health professionals, but also to general audience.
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