Are you enraged when your Internet connection is down, even for a short while? Is your kid checking email every 15 minutes no matter where you are or what you are doing? Is there nothing you enjoy more than surfing the Internet and become grouchy when other things make it impossible for you to so?
If this is the case, then you or your child may be suffering from Internet addiction? Actually, this is serious, in May of 2013 the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ or DSM-IV, aka the bible of mental disorder definitions will begin including Internet addiction as a legitimate mental disorder diagnosis requiring further study. It is the first step for the psychiatric world to declare it a true mental illness.
It will be called ‘Internet-use disorder.” There is really little doubt that there is such a disorder, horror stories about the affect of the Internet abound and kids are especially prone to exhibit these negative effects.
Symptoms of Internet or Technology Addiction
The symptoms of Internet or Technology Addiction are the same as those for any addiction and include:
- Emotional shutdown
- Lack of Concentration
Mental health providers also feel that the addiction and problems of addiction are not confined to gamers as was originally thought.
Director of the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre in Sydney Australia Mike Kyrios recently said:
”With kids, gaming is an obvious issue. But overall, technology use could be a potential problem.”
Some notorious cases of Gaming addiction include:
- Daniel Petric, a 17 year old Ohio resident shot his mother and injured his Dad following their confiscation of his Halo 3 video game that they were afraid he was playing too much in 2009.
- In 2011 Chris Standorth, age 20, died from a lung blockage while playing his Xbox for at least 12 consecutive hours without a break.
- In 2012, a gaming addict died in a Taiwan Internet cafe after playing an online video game for forty straight hours – the equivalent of a normal work week.
- Internet addiction is more prevalent in young people but not unheard of in adults. In 2010 a couple was arrested when their daughter, an infant, starved to death while they played an online game for untold hours. The game was concerned with successfully raising a “virtual” baby. Their score was not reported.
If you, or someone you know has too great of an interest in the Internet it may be time to get help. Call your local mental health interventionists for more information. Internet addiction can be a serious problem.