Wednesday, April 23, 2008

A Tangled Web Of Addiction

"Double Glow" by Katie@! on Flickr
by Bill Machon Psychiatrist Jerald Block argues in the American Journal of Psychiatry that Internet addiction should be listed in the next version of the US handbook of recognized psychiatric addictions. He breaks down Internet addiction into three parts - excessive gaming, pornography, and emailing/texting. He defines excessive use as being associated with loss of a sense of time, and feelings of anger and tension when a computer is unavailable, among other symptoms. He cites reasearch about web addiction in South Korea, where high schoolers spend 23 hours per week gaming online. The South Korean government considers web addiction to be one of its top health priorities. Unfortunately, research in the US has produced mostly cloudy results.

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