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
    jjaazz, 22 Jul 2010 @ 2:10pm

    Re: Methinks the man doth protest too much

    I think what matters is whether or not there is a significant alteration of brain chemistry involved in the behavior. I think that's the basis of the disease model: that the addiction (the ongoing progressive "disease"0 has altered proper functioning of one's mind to the point that, for instance, they are in denial about what is obvious to anyone else. Not that anyone in denial about some aspect of their life could be considered an addict. Unless, there is a significant alteration of brain chemistry to which the person gets addicted. Imbalanced might be a better term to use, in both the behavioral and biochemical sense.

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