Tuesday, 18 Mar, 2008 Science

Psychiatrists to Officially Recognize Internet Addiction as Brain Illness


An exaggerating number of e-mails as well as text messages may very soon be officially recognized as brain illness.

According to an editorial published in the latest issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry, "excessive gaming, sexual pre-occupations and e-mail/text messaging" is considered to be a widespread compulsive-impulsive disorder. Such disorder should be included in the official psychiatric guidebook of mental disorders.

Just like most of the addicts, people who frequently play computer games, send text messages and e-mails and stay on adult websites, experience urges, withdrawal and tolerance. These people need more and better software and improved equipment, they require more hours on-line. This idea was provide by Dr. Jerald Block, a psychiatrist at the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland.

According to Dr. Jerald Block, such people are not able to count the time. They can also ignore the main drives, such as eating or sleeping. There are high levels of relapse and some people may require psychoactive medications or even hospitalization.

About 86% of people addicted to the Internet may have other forms of mental illness. However, unless such people are not checked by a therapist, Internet addiction may not be taken into consideration.

Dr. Block writes that there is a necessity for such phenomenon to be introduced in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is the official psychiatric dictionary of mental illnesses. The book's next edition is to be released in 2012.

Some people still ask about the border that divides Internet addition and a normal stage of human's mind. People wonder where a normal state of mind turns into a pathological one.

The journal entitled Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, issued in 2007, states the ideas of British psychiatrists, who say that a "significant minority" (5-10 percent) of on-line users suffer from Internet addiction, and though early study claims that most addicts are highly educated and introverted males, the recent research shows that the issue can be found among middle-aged women who frequently work on home computers.

According to the researchers, some Internet addicts use computer in order to escape reality, just like drug and alcohol addicts. One may be addicted to nearly everything, starting with pure act of typing, visiting chat rooms, shopping on-line and ending up with multiplayer games, which users characterize as "heroinware."

John Macdonald, of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, is an addiction therapist who says that the use of computers turns into an issue when behavior begins affecting the lives of people.

The problem of Internet addicts highly strikes Asian people. This problem was reported in China and South Korea. The government of South Korea trained over 1,000 counselors to deal with Internet addiction after 10 people died during on-line gaming. All of the deaths occurred in Internet cafes, and they are all related to cardiopulmonary problems.

Addiction comes in many shapes and sizes.  Learn more about opiate addiction, narcotics addiction, and methadone detox, the internet can be a awesome resource. A drug addiction is usually a very difficult time in a person's life. With the proper medical treatment, one can overcome their disease.

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