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Your Web Surfing Could Be a Mental Illness

Scott Barbour, Getty Images

So you are the kind of person who likes to just kill time by surfing the internet? Well, I am sorry to tell you that you may have a warped brain…fear not, you are in good company.

So what’s the story on this? According to the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’ (DSM-IV), its latest edition will include “Internet-use disorder” as a condition “recommended for further study.” And according to this manual,  kids are identified as being especially at risk.

However, there are Psychologists that believe that internet addition is just like any other addiction disorder, as they have similar traits:

  • emotional shutdown
  • lack of concentration
  • withdrawal.

Could this be a concocted problem? According to the Sydney Morning Herald (Australia), parents have noticed their kids become angry and violent when their video games and computers are taken away. they have also noticed that some kids would rather play a videogame over eating or social interaction.
And that leads one to get closer to mental illness.

No where do they tell us where the studies were done, outside of the Sydney newspaper,  but Psychologist internationally are sounding the alarm

With kids, gaming is an obvious issue. But overall, technology use could be a potential problem,” Director of the Brain and Psychological Sciences Research Centre Mike Kyrios told the Sydney Morning Herald.

So how do you get treatment for this ailment? It looks like Australia was on the cutting edge in recognizing this as a problem. They are also the first ones to discover a treatment.

Internet related video game addiction isn’t new, the most notable example was in 2009 when  17-year-old Daniel Petric of Ohio shot his mother and injured his father after they took away his Halo 3 videogame because he was playing it too much. This has been described as bordering on insanity.

There are many other examples of people dying from lack of eating and not wanting to leave their virtual world, even cases of child neglect by people addicted to their video games.

What is scary is that someone would choose a virtual world over the one they live in. The only question I have is, when is it addiction and when is it mental illness…or could it all have to do with parents who let their kids just sit at home and play Call of Duty all day and night with no supervision?

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