Internet of things, psychology

Dr Sacrifice Chirisa Mental Health Matters
Online interconnectivity provides endless opportunities that support our human needs for community, social interaction, and intimate relationships.

Unfortunately, for some this increasingly unfettered access to possible sexual and romantic encounters sometimes results in an escalating, obsessive quest resulting in dire consequences.

These results of the Internet connectivity range from:

Digital infidelity


Internet addiction






Once this has happened a psychological avalanche is initiated with a massive chain reaction following. The turmoil is so great and affects the primary individual, the secondary persons involved and others including the kids.

Today, I will focus on how this digital age has fuelled sexual offending as it heightens sexual desires. Sexual offending is defined as non-consensual sexual activity. There are numerous ways that an action can be considered non-consensual. Common examples include:

Being sexual with a person who is unaware that some form of sexual act is taking place: voyeurism, sex with a person who is sleeping, viewing illegal pornography, etc.

Being sexual with a person who is incapable of informed consent: a person who is drugged, drunk, mentally or emotionally incapacitated, too young, too ill, etc.

Forcing a sexual act on someone who objects to that act: rape, snatch and grab molestation, exhibitionism, frotteurism, creating/distributing child pornography, etc.

Both the offender has psychological problems and the victim will have psychological problems. It is critical for the abused victims to seek psychological help. The psychological response can be immediate or delayed. If delayed, it is dangerous as an individual will appear strong for some time and then break down several months later.

Why this is more dangerous is the fact that the support system would have gone as most support is generally given the initial seasons.

It is important to use our access to the internet not to destroy our psychological health. This requires levels of self-control, regulatory mechanism especially to children of school going age.

Dr Sacrifice Chirisa is a passionate Consultant Psychiatrist at Harare Hospital Psychiatric Unit. He is the national secretary-general for the Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZiMA) and a certified life and business coach.

Source : The Herald

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