Some Psychiatrists Addicted To Prescribing Internet Addiction

from the must-be-good-for-business dept

Over the past few years, we've seen so many "calls" to label the use of certain technologies as "addictions" that we've noticed something of a... well... addiction by some to call for new technology addictions. Among the long, long list of possible addictions has been email addiction, web addiction, online porn addiction, video game addiction, internet addiction, and mobile phones or other gadget addictions. Almost every time, the call for addiction comes from a psychologist or psychiatrist trying to build up a reputation for treating such "addictions." It must be good for business (and perhaps a lot less harrowing than treating some other types of addictions).

So it shouldn't come as any surprise to see a psychiatrist now calling for internet addiction to become an officially classified addiction in the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (basically the official rulebook for such things). Of course, there are a few problems, including the fact that research has shown little evidence that the internet is really addictive, and almost every story of internet addiction really tends to be about deeper issues that resulted in someone seeking an outlet on the internet (from depression, bad family situations, alcoholism, etc.). Focusing on the "internet" part tends to have people trying to treat a symptom, not the disease. Hopefully, this new push will follow the same path as the one last year to have video games declared an addiction too. It didn't take long for that idea to get shot down.

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  1. identicon
    TheDock22, 18 Mar 2008 @ 10:53am

    I thought most addictions...

    ...were because of underlying conditions such as depression, alcoholism, etc.

    (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Addiction as much as we all love Wikipedia, I found this summary interesting)

    I really don't see the problem in allowing Internet Addiction to be added to the list. I agree with post #5 that getting these terms added simply allows insurance companies to offer money for treatment. And some people do need treatment. I can see it possible for someone to spend so much time surfing the Internet that it starts affecting their daily life including work and family (not to mention the physical problems that could come up like carpal tunnel, eye strain, and the results of a sedentary life style).

    Just because I don't suffer from Internet Addiction doesn't mean I am blind enough to think no one can have it. Beside, how is Internet Addiction any different from a Gambling or Shopping Addiction (both which are in the book by the way).

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