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Internet Addiction

Looks like another bunch of scientists have more time on their hands than is healthy…

Excessive gaming, viewing online pornography, emailing and text messaging have been identified as causes of a compulsive-impulsive disorder by Dr Jerald Block, author of an editorial for the respected American Journal of Psychiatry. Block argues that the disorder is now so common that it merits inclusion in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the profession’s primary resource to categorise and diagnose mental illnesses.

So we could actually break everything in life down to being an illness, like excessive driving, shopping (which is already an “illness”), anything to do with eating that some doctor thinks is not “normal”,  watching grass grow. I am sure that one could find that anything and everything we do in life could be described as an illness if it goes beyond a determined marker, beyond what is described as normal. What that normal level is (in some cases described as acceptable) is determined by the person, or people, making the study.

No mention, or thought, is given to the actual reasons why people are addicted to the internet, or anything else for that matter – maybe there is nothing suitable on TV. I would hazard a suggestion that this study, and subsequent headline, is a contributory reason; it is yet another item to add to the list of everyday fears and concerns (“Oh no, I am addicted, I have a mental illness!”). Is there any wonder why people escape reality when reality, whatever that is, persists in telling us we are mentally ill, or the world will end or heat up, or bombs are falling out of the sky, and so on and so forth. I would further suggest the good doctor comes up with a study to provide a suitable explanation on why we are actually addicted to anything and then provide a list of practical measures to help us find alternatives; all this assumes we care.

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