Feeds

Net addiction a 'clinical disorder', says US shrink

Turn off that PC and get help

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A US psychiatrist has declared internet addiction a "clinical disorder" with some sufferers so hooked on cyberspace they "required medication or even hospital treatment to curb the time they spent on the web".

Dr Jerald Block, of the Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, describes in an editorial in the American Journal of Psychiatry the four symptoms of hopeless addiction: victims "forget to eat and sleep"; they crave more advanced tech and more time online as they're numbed by "resistance" to the kicks they get from their current system; prising them away from their computer results in "genuine withdrawal symptoms"; and they begin to become more argumentative, more fatigued, more isolated from society, and perform worse in tests.

Block explained: "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.

"It's much more acceptable for kids to talk about game use, whereas adults keep it a secret. Rather than having sex, or arguing with their wife or husband, or feeding their children, these adults are playing games."

The Telegraph notes that early studies showed "highly educated, socially awkward men" were most likely to suffer from net addiction, but more recent probes indicate it's "now more of a problem for middle-aged women who are spending hours at home on their computers".

Brit shrinks, meanwhile, have previously claimed "between five and 10 per cent of online users are internet addicts". ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.