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Excessive use of smartphone may increase suicide risk in teens

Raghu Kshitiz

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KATHMANDU — Teenagers who spend more time on smartphones and other electronic devices may be at the higher risk of developing depression and suicidal tendencies, a new study has claimed.

Researchers from the Florida State University in the US said screen time should be considered a modern-day risk factor for depression and suicide.

The study, published in the journal Clinical Psychological Science, showed that teens who spent more time on the devices were less happy than those who spend more time on nonscreen activities like sports and exercise.

“There is a concerning relationship between excessive screen time and risk for death by suicide, depression, suicidal ideation and suicidal attempts,” said Thomas Joiner, from the Florida State University.

“All of those mental health issues are very serious. I think it’s something parents should ponder,” he added.

The researchers discovered 48 per cent of teenagers who spent five or more hours per day on electronic devices reported a suicide-related behaviour compared to 28 per cent of adolescents who spent less than an hour using electronic devices.

Those who focused more on nonscreen activities like sports and exercise, talking to friends face to face, doing homework and going to church were more likely to be happy.

Depression and suicide rates for teens between the ages of 13 and 18 increased dramatically since 2010, especially among girls, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The study identified excessive use of electronic devices as a likely culprit.

According to CDC statistics, the suicide rate increased 31 per cent among teenagers from 2010 to 2015, while a national survey shows that the number of adolescents reporting symptoms of severe depression rose 33 per cent.

Those increases were largely driven by teenage girls.

Their suicide rate soared 65 per cent and those suffering severe depression increased 58 per cent.
The rate of suicide-related behaviours — feeling hopeless, thinking about suicide or attempting it– increased 14 per cent.

With PTI Inputs

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Drinking water shortage hits life at Yasok in Panchthar

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PACHTHAR — A shortage of drinking water at Yasok Bazar, the center of Kummayak Rural Municipality, has thrown the normal life of the locals out of gear.

The problem arose after the local market management committee removed water pipes installed in the bazaar area. Per household here was getting 50 liters of drinking water once in two days before this.

Water scarcity here is not a new occurrence at Yasok which normally remains dry, but the complete disruption in the supply of taps water has paralysed the life, according to local hotelier Keshab Thapa.

There is no natural or artificial water source nearby the area and locals are forced to dependent on the supply by the local government through tractors in a very limited quantity.

The rural municipality has started fetching water from the local Chhorunga stream and distributing it to the locals. Tractors are used to transport stream water to the area.

Earlier, the 650 households at Yasok were using drinking water supplied by the Yasok Deurali Drinking Water Project. Regular supply (once in two days) was too less to meet demand. There is a demand for some 250,000 liters of water at Yasok per day.

According to Yasok Market Management Consumers Committee secretary Mahendra Bahadur Khadka, water pipes were removed (without any alternative arrangements) in course of market management efforts and it will take some more days to restore them and water scarcity is to go for more few days

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