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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Internet Use May be Qualified as Mental Illness

The researchers are investigating whether the so-called “Internet-use” disorder exists and whether it should appear in the worldwide psychiatric manual. The study suggested that children who are addicted to using electronic devices around the clock can be diagnosed by the psychiatrist as having a serious mental illness.

According to Professor of Psychology Mike Kyrios, the children addicted to gaming have an obvious problem with Internet use. However, the technology itself also poses a potential problem. The researchers claim that addiction to video games and Internet has the same characteristics as other addictions: people suffer emotional shutdown and lack of concentration when addicted to the Internet. Moreover, they show withdrawal symptoms when the gadgets they use to access the web are removed. Apparently, this will have a devastating impact for children and families, because it is often noticed that both social interaction and food can be neglected in favor of the Internet.

The decision to include “Internet use” disorder into the list of mental illnesses was taken by the Australian Psychological Society, which has a submission to the international manual (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). The manual in question will be revised next May, and the new edition may include “Internet use” disorder as an illness recommended for further investigation.

For the United States it will mean that kids could be over-treated and even medicated for playing computer games for too long. Actually, it seems that any activity in the USA will soon involve expensive medication. 

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