Doctor Claims That Sending Too Many Text Messages Is A Sign Of Mental Problems

from the oh-please dept

Remember the doctor pushing to add internet addiction as an official mental disorder? In a recent journal article, he's now saying that one sign of such a disorder would be people who send lots of text messages. Of course, as MobHappy puts it: "maybe they just like to chat to their friends?" Remember kids, too much communication = mental illness.

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  • identicon
    ChurchHatesTucker, 31 Mar 2008 @ 7:38am

    I've known that for years

    People who behave differently than I do are crazy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    angry dude, 31 Mar 2008 @ 7:56am

    real sign of a mental problem

    Hm... I always thought that writing techdirt articles is a real sign of a mental problem

    Another week, another piece of nonsensical shit from techdirt "writers"

    same shit, different day

    happy monday, techdirt lemmings

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased), 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:09am

      Re: real sign of a mental problem

      Man! It's not even a patent story and a.d. shows his face. angry dude, you are just as much a lemming as everyone else. The lemming that loves to hate.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:11am

      Re: real sign of a mental problem

      Mental issue: writing techdirt articles.

      Sign of serious psychosis: obsessively responding to techdirt articles while claiming everyone who does so is stupid.

      Seriously though with regard to the article: as ever, each case is different. A person who sends large numbers of text messages in order to keep in touch with a lot of friends or to organise social gatherings is very different to the person who does so to avoid speaking to people in person. The person who sends texts to their spouse at work during the day is different to the one who sends them to their spouse in the next room. You can't generalise this stuff, nor should you.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Jason, 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:35am

      Re: real sign of a mental problem

      Dear Angry Dude,

      If you don't like the site, you don't have to read it. That's the beauty of free speech on the internet. If you disagree with Techdirt's content, that's fine. If you want to contribute to make the site better, I'm all for that. But there is no need for name calling and forum trolling, especially in a community like Techdirt that debate topics in an intelligent and informed manner. There is no place for a "troll" in a community like this. Please, if you have nothing constructive to contribute, stop posting, especially the insulting comments.

      Thanks

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        LarryB, 31 Mar 2008 @ 11:10am

        Re: Re: real sign of a mental problem

        Am I the only one that is becoming numb to these types of comments? However noble you may think your comment is (and I don't disagree with you at all), you're doing nothing to add to the discussion. People will read the first sentence and scroll right on by after that. The only way to get people to behave properly is to force them into it and obviously that never goes over well.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      KT QT, 10 Apr 2008 @ 1:56pm

      Re: real sign of a mental problem

      I SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO agree with you! the stuff these people r sayin SUX SHIT!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TKM, 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:09am

    Addiction

    Well, abusing anything is problematic, i.e. texting ,alcohol, internet, sex, jesus/muhammed, etc., and probably a sign of trouble elsewhere. I think this guy probably has an addiction of his own; abusing his prescription pad.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ima Fish, 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:10am

    "Remember kids, too much communication = mental illness."

    No doctor ever said that too much communication equals a mental illness. In the same way, no doctor ever said that merely drinking too much alcohol equates alcoholism. And, also in the same way, no doctor has ever said that merely cleaning your house too much equals an obsessive/compulsive behavior.

    The logical fallacy you are making is called a straw horse. You are changing the doctor's argument to something ridiculous, in order to prove how ridiculous the argument is.

    What the doctor said was that someone who obsessively sends text messages in such a way that their life is being negatively impacted, could be an indication of a disease.

    The vast majority of people who drink alcohol are not alcoholics. The vast majority of people who clean their houses are not obsessive/compulsive. And in the same way, the vast majority of people who send text messages do not suffer from a disease. But that fact does not mean that no one suffers from such a disease.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Evil Mike, 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:21am

      Re: Aim Fish

      Are you aware you just combined a straw-man argument with a tautology? I, for one, am impressed. That was a very eloquent way to subdue one's opponent with an imaginary weapon. Bravo.

      "...in such a way that their life is being negatively impacted, could be an indication of a disease. "

      Anything done to the point of negatively impacting one's life could be an indication of "[insert something bad here]."

      Fucking duh.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Chronno S. Trigger, 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:39am

      Re:

      Mike is actually referring to his belief that one should get to the root of a problem before declaring what the problem is.

      I'll use my "addiction" to Mt Dew as an example. I am not, nor can I be, truly addicted to Mt Dew. I can be, and am, addicted to the caffeine in the drink. The addiction to Mt Dew is just the mental component. I can't drink a Pepsi and get the same feeling of relief (mental withdrawal), but it douse get rid of the headaches (physical withdrawal). This is why my, and a lot of other people's, addiction has been called caffeine addiction.

      One cannot be addicted to the act of SMS-ing but one can be addicted to the chemical reaction caused by that act. Let us call it what it truly is.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DrToddM, 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:42am

    Seeking after signs

    Perhaps you can write an article featuring myself when I posit that the obsessive, self-aggrandizing quest to define new syndromes and mental illnesses by otherwise anonymous and undistinguished medical professionals is - IN ITSELF - a sign of mental illness... ;-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous frog bastard, 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:55am

    SMS?

    I thought text messaging involved mobile phones and had nothing to do with the Internet. But I'm no doctor.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Reality Check, 31 Mar 2008 @ 8:56am

    Symptom of illness

    I would like to actually take this thread to a higher level of intellect, and instead of respond to some of the more idiotic posts here, reply to some of the more intellectual and salient ones...

    Truth be told, obsessive texting may be a problem. However, it is not likely to be a problem in of itself, rather a symptom of a larger problem.

    So yes, obsessive texting, which results in isolation, loss of job, friends, and family, etc etc is a problem and may be classified as mental illness.

    However, agai, it is not likely to be an illness itself, rather a symptom of a larger problem.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Jared, 31 Mar 2008 @ 9:02am

    In the end its all the same mental illness... addiction. Do we really need to act like we have discovered something new?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BlowURmindBowel, 31 Mar 2008 @ 9:41am

    Everything new and different...

    Everything new and different is actually really bad for you and will eventually make you crazy...

    I'm addicted to solving hardware problems in computers at this office I go to, I do it for 8hrs a day 5 days a week. Wait I forgot, they pay me to do that... Nevermind.

    (sorry I'm really not serious please don't waste your time pointing out the error of my logic, I am already well aware!)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sea Man, 31 Mar 2008 @ 9:50am

    I can confirm this, and I present my girlfriend as evidence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    BlowURmindBowel, 31 Mar 2008 @ 10:36am

    I can also confirm this, and I present Sea Man's girlfriend as evidence.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TheDock22, 31 Mar 2008 @ 11:47am

    I'm confused...

    How can someone txt message too much? I have never heard of anyone losing their job or having problems in their life due to txt messaging. In the end, you are interacting with another person in just a different form of communication.

    I mean, I send about 500-900 txt messages a month, but that is because 90% of my friends use txt messaging to keep in touch and it is easier than calling and leaving a voicemail (getting your voicemails can be a pain). It doesn't interfere with my life though.

    I could see Internet addiction simply because it does isolate you from people and can cause major trouble in life. Isn't that what makes an addiction? Something that you must have to fill your own obsessions which ends up severing ties to friends and family? I just don't see how txting friends and family could cause isolation by any means.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    CultureArtist, 31 Mar 2008 @ 11:47am

    Addiction

    There are three components to addiction: 1. Withdrawal; 2. Tolerance; 3. Loss of control.
    Examples would be:
    Withdrawal: if you feel antsy or anxious when you can't send text messages...
    Tolerance: You find yourself sending more and more text messages
    Loss of control: Your obsession with sending messages has had a significant impact on your school, work, or social life (for example, getting fired for playing on the Internet; getting dropped from a class because you can't stop texting long enough to pay attention; forgetting a date because you were too busy surfing the 'Net)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    always provide a link to the article you are talki, 31 Mar 2008 @ 11:48am

    always provide a link to the article you are talki

    always provide a link to the article you are talking about

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Oninous, 31 Mar 2008 @ 12:30pm

    Nice...

    I appreciate the light the OP wrote the article in and see his last statement about communication as what it is, a joke. That comment says it all and I agree! I think this doctor is trying to trailblaze into a field that he has to literally define himself and someof us out here think it's completely rediculous. On the otherhand, if he finds merit in his assesments... Really, I think he is looking for too much in too little but I will say we will have to wait and see if his persistance drums him out of respect for his work and straight into being 45 and living in his parent's basement.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Troy, 31 Mar 2008 @ 12:51pm

    10,000 a month

    Between sending and receiving, my phone needs to go to a mental institution for electronic equipment, because it goes through 10,000 text messages a month, I am merely the pilot. Just another way computers are taking over the world.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Dr.Dr., 31 Mar 2008 @ 4:25pm

    Has anyone actually read the article?

    Just a thought...has anyone actually read the original editorial article in the American Journal of Psychiatry?

    I have, seeing as this is the field I work in).

    Dr. Block is not calling for text messaging to be considered a mental illness. He clearly states that this is but one component to a larger illness, an obsessive-impulsive spectrum disorder...I think some people have already claimed (correctly) that it is not an illness but a symptom.

    Maybe we should just stick with the simple tech related things, since medical and health issues are way too complex for the bulk of those who post here.

    Before commenting on something you people have absolutely no knowledge of, try reading the original articles that are cited in the blog posts....you might be enlightened by something.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Nate Nead, 10 Apr 2008 @ 12:32am

    In agreement

    This is so true! I was doing some research on SMS for a class project and handed out surveys to several hundred people. Some of the people were claiming to get 4000 inbound and 4000 outbound messages a month. I calculated it out: that's about one every 3 minutes of your waking life. Seriously, get a life.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    katy, 10 Apr 2008 @ 1:53pm

    taxt messages

    I think you section about text messages and mental illnesses is stupid and immature!!!! GET WITH TECHNOLOGY, LAME-O!!!!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    PERSON LOVER, 10 Apr 2008 @ 1:57pm

    stuff

    I NEED A FRIEND!!!!!!! SOME1 TALK 2 ME!!!!!!!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Coolcat, 17 Apr 2008 @ 3:33pm

    Obsessive texting

    my ex-husband at one point texted his (non) girlfriend (ie she lived in another country and had a boyfriend) EIGHTY-THREE times in one day. Should probably be grateful he's my ex....

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    jkadffgsak, 14 Jun 2008 @ 11:29am

    this is gay,

    and a waste of my life.

    kbye .

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Comments from the silent world, 10 Aug 2008 @ 4:41am

    lots of eyeball rolling...

    I saw this article earlier this year in March of 2008. At the time I read it, I was so furious that I decided that it was not worthy of a response. It is now several months later that I just happened to come across this topic once again and have decided that its time to educate the pyschologists in their flawed thinking and to consider their results as completely without merit. The reason? Millions of Deaf and Hard of Hearing people use text messaging as an accessible accommodation in communication than talking on the phone. If that's labeled as a mental illness, then the buffoons in the psychiatry field ought to consider a different profession.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Vern Golek, 18 Oct 2008 @ 10:25pm

    too many sms

    Obviously to say sending too many sms messages is a mental disorder is crazy. On the other hand, when a kid doesn't read or go outside to play or do anything but spend all day on his mobile phone sending messages it's time for parents to limit phone use. Spending all day watching the idiot box is no different.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sydney, 3 Jan 2009 @ 7:34pm

    this is a lie

    this is stupid and its a lie

    this is bu;;

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Paul C. Herson, 5 Feb 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Caffeine Addiction

    How can Caffeine Addiction cause an energy rise in your body.

    Caffeine is currently of the most consumed substances in the world nowadays, but many people ignore caffeine effects in the body, especially when a person suffers caffeine addiction or abuses of it somehow.

    In this article I would like to point out the most negative caffeine effects on your body and what caffeine energy produces on your body, as well as mentioning some special facts about caffeine addiction.

    Drinking various cups of coffees in a day is not good at all, especially if we drink it in the late afternoon or night, because the caffeine will stay in our bodies for up to eight hours, which affects our sleep.

    Caffeine also affects the levels of cortisol in the body, leading to more cravings for carbohydrates and fats and mass weight onto our stomachs; abdominal fat causes bigger health risks than other kinds of fat. However, if you drink coffee in the morning and exercise straight afterwards, it can help you to burn fat 30 percent more efficiently than without taking it, because it helps to keep blood sugar levels up, making us less hungry.

    Caffeine energy is understood as the energy that people usually experience when they consume caffeine. Caffeine energy usually gives our energy levels a temporary increase, but after it disappears we may suffer mild depression and start feeling lethargy, making it harder to exercise. So in other words, caffeine energy causes a quick improvement in our energy levels but it is just temporary and will cause an energy decrease afterwards making it hard for us to exercise.

    Energy drinks contain caffeine energy and they have exactly the same effect, and I have experienced this myself: when you buy an energy drink because you stayed awake all night long at a party and you have to work the morning after, it will definitely make you feel energized at the moment, but then it will make your heart to work harder and harder, so when go home you will feel extremely lazy and lethargic that the only thing you will think about is sleep.

    Caffeine effects can be explained like this: it works in the brain by attaching itself to the neurotransmitter adenosine's receptors; adenosine causes brain cells to be less active, which causes us to feel drowsy. Given that caffeine's chemical structure is comparable to adenosines, it can attach to adenosine receptors and therefore block adenosine from doing its job properly. So, a good fact about caffeine effects is that it makes brain cells become more active and it makes us feel more alert.

    Other caffeine effects (negative) that I have not mentioned yet are: headaches, excessive sleepiness, a feeling like you can’t function without it or flu like symptoms. Caffeine consumption reduces dopamine (a neurotransmitter that is produced by the brains and plays a critical role in the function of the central nervous system), and it can also create more depression and anxiety, as well as an increased heart rate, increased blood sugar, difficulty concentrating and mild stomach upset.

    You can find more info at: http://yourcaffeineaddiction.com/

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 8 Mar 2010 @ 7:43am

    this is bullshit. texting does not cause fucking diseases or illnesses.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    sprearson81 (profile), 9 Jun 2012 @ 5:45am

    Texting is a disease!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
New And For A Limited Time
New Gear By Techdirt: I Invented Email
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.