INTERNET ADDICTION

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    Mr. Schwibbles
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    INTERNET ADDICTION

    Post by Mr. Schwibbles on Wed Mar 19, 2008 12:30 pm

    INTERNET addiction is a "common" mental disorder that should be recognised by health officials, an editorial in one of the world's leading psychiatry journals says.

    The American Journal of Psychiatry published an editorial claiming that internet addiction met the criterion for a mental disorder and called on the American Psychiatric Association to officially list it as such.

    The editorial’s author, Jerald Block, said internet addiction consists of three particular subtypes: excessive gambling, sexual preoccupations and email or text messaging.

    “Internet addiction appears to be a common disorder that merits inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders,” Dr Block said in the journal.

    Dr Block said all internet addictions had four common components: excessive use, withdrawal, tolerance and negative repercussions.

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    He said internet addicts developed a tolerance to a certain level of technology, making them want to upgrade software and hardware. Social isolation and fatigue were listed as examples of “negative repercussions” to internet addiction.

    Dr Block said the number of people that could be deemed as having addictions was large.

    “After a series of ten cardiopulmonary-related deaths in internet cafés and a game-related murder, South Korea considers internet addiction one of its most serious public health issues,” he said.

    “Using data from 2006, the South Korean government estimates that approximately 210,000 South Korean children are afflicted and require treatment.

    “About 80 per cent of those needing treatment may need psychotropic medications, and perhaps 20 per cent to 24 per cent require hospitalisation.”

    He said it was very hard to gauge the extent of the problem in the US and some other countries due to the popularity of home internet connections.
    “Unlike in Asia, where internet cafes are frequently used, in the United States games and virtual sex are accessed from the home.

    “Attempts to measure the phenomenon are clouded by shame, denial, and minimisation.”

    Dr Block said he believed about 86 per cent of internet addicts also had at least one other mental disorder.

    But he said classifying the addiction as a mental problem did not mean people would be easily cured.

    “Unfortunately, internet addiction is resistant to treatment, entails significant risks and has high relapse rates.”

    Links

    American Journal of Psychiatry editorial - http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/cgi/content/full/165/3/306
    Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders - http://dsm5.org/

    Reference
    http://www.news.com.au/technology/story/0,25642,23402395-5014108,00.html

    I for one know that as a computer buff, addiction is very plausible and can lead to a conlusion that I may have brain disorders.

    But, I know how to spend my time equally doing whatever work I need to do for in or out of school, home or other. Also, not everyone cares about online dating, internet cafe's and that other crap, so why test that depending on the custondian's lifestyle?

    So they should at least test how they cope with their everyday lifestyle before coming to conclusions. Neutral


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