Internet Addiction Nominated for Entry in the Manual of Mental Disorders :-o

WIRED MAGAZINE: 06.16.08
By Katharine Gammon

First, we all had mild Asperger’s. Now, Internet addiction disorder? Give a geek a break. In the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, Jerald Block proposed that Web abuse be added to his field’s bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Block cites research from South Korea, where, he says, the affliction is considered a serious public health problem, and the government estimates that 168,000 children may require psychotropic medications. In China, the Beijing Military Region Central Hospital puts the number of teenage pathological computer users at 10 million.

Like other addicts, users reportedly experience cravings (for better software, faster machines), withdrawal (logging off may cause irritability), a loss of sense of time (wee-hour fixes), and negative social repercussions (it’s so much easier to date an avatar). Sound familiar? Your friend the World Wide Web may be a monkey on your back. Or not. Just ask yourself this: If Google were a drug, would I smoke it?

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