Excessive Internet use and online gaming should be treated as mental disorder

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computer_man_cartoon.gifWhoa that’s heavy! And you thought that spending ten hours a day online was a harmless pursuit? Hmm, well perhaps not.

An American Journal of Psychiatry editorial suggests that Internet addiction, defined as “excessive gaming, sexual pre-occupations and e-mail/text messaging”, is a common compulsive-impulsive disorder which should be added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders publication, psychology’s official dictionary of mental illnesses.

Are you addicted to the Internet? If you experience cravings and urges to use it, withdrawal symptoms if kept away from it, and the need for ever better hardware and software, then you very well could be. Particularly if you’re a Machead…

“The real proof in the pudding: is the amount that you [stay online] causing any problems in your life?” said John Macdonald, addiction therapist at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto.

Now, back to Second Life.

(Via Ottawa Citizen)

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Andy Merrett