Sunday, March 23, 2008

Too Much Internet = Mental Illness

The latest plague consuming the world: Too much time on the Internet.

I blame Al Gore.
People who are addicted to the internet may have a mental illness, a leading psychiatrist claims.

Too many hours spent online gaming, viewing porn or emailing can cause a compulsive-impulsive disorder, Dr Jerald Block says.

As more people leave the office computer only to log on as soon as they get home, Dr Block argues that internet addiction is now a serious public health problem and should be officially recognised as a clinical disorder.

He has identified several telltale symptoms, including over-use and losing all track of time, neglecting basics like eating or sleeping and cravings and feelings of withdrawal such as anger, tension or depression when a computer cannot be accessed.

Dr Block, a psychiatrist at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, made his claims in an editorial for the respected American Journal of Psychiatry.

He said: "Estimates of the prevalence of the disorder are lacking. Attempts to measure the phenomenon are clouded by shame, denial, and minimization.

"Unfortunately, internet addiction is resistant to treatment, entails significant risks and has high relapse rates."

He said of addicts: "The relationship is with the computer. It becomes a significant other to them.

"They exhaust emotions that they could experience in the real world on the computer through any number of mechanisms: emailing, gaming, porn.

"Computer use occupies a tremendous amount of time in their life. Then if you try to cut the cord in a very abrupt fashion, they've lost essentially their best friend.

"That can take the form of depression or rage."
That's #@&%*@! crazy! How dare you tell me I'm nuts!

Oh, sorry.

Seriously, if people are forgetting to bathe and eat due to surfing for online porn, yes, they probably have a bit of a social disorder, and probably were losers before the Internet came along.

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