Are You an Internet Addict? Beware of Internet-Use Disorder!

Australia was one of the first countries to identify the problem and offer public treatment for Internet-Use disorder

Are you the type of person who spent hours on Internet? If you are, we have some bad news for you. Internet-use disorder is a real thing now

Thanks to a group of psychiatrists in Australia, Internet-Use Disorder is now officially accepted as a psychiatric disorder by the American Psychiatric Association. Of course any self-respecting internet addict already knows that! For the record ‘Internet Addiction Disorder’ started way back in 1995 as a satirical hoax.

So you think you are addicted to internet? Well most probably the answer is no. It’s highly unlikely that many of us fit the description of this disorder. Wasting hours on Facebook does not make you an internet addict. If it did around 900 Million people around the world will have a new reason to start therapy.

Internet-Use disorder has many of the basic symptoms of any other addiction. According to the American Psychiatric Association, a person having Internet use disorder will be preoccupied with internet or internet gaming. And they show withdrawal symptoms when the internet is no longer available .Other symptoms include loss of other interests, unsuccessful attempts to quit and using internet to escape depressed mood.

A research done by a group of Australian psychiatrists in children reveals, those who spend lot of time in online video games have tendency to get nervous or irritated, when their laptops or mobile phones or any other connected devices are taken away from them. However, even in those cases the researchers are not able to define an exact boundary to be declared as internet addict. The psychiatrists are in the opinion that more study is needed in this area.

Australia was one of the first countries to identify the problem and offer public treatment for Internet-Use disorder. South Korea already has De-addiction centers for children who are addicted to video games.

“With kids, gaming is an obvious issue, but overall, technology use could be a potential problem” Said Professor Mike Kyrios, of Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne, Australia. He also stated that fundamentally it’s up to parents to decide whether their kids are showing any withdrawal symptoms, when the internet is taken away from them and also whether it is serious enough to get psychiatric help

Meanwhile, some people say it is a “creeping medicalization of everyday life”. And any problem of excess can now be portrayed as an individual having a major mental illness. So does this mean we are addicted to being addicted?

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