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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Internet Use: Is It An Addiction Or Only An Issue?

Did you ever sit in a restaurant and notice a family where each person held their smartphone in hand and absolutely no verbal communication between family members was taking place?  Do you or a member of your family constantly have a device handy to surf the web, play on-line games, check Facebook or a Twitter feed? Does it seem like you or your family member cannot pull away from  the internet? Is this internet addiction?

It might surprise you to learn that for many years mental health professionals have been pursuing having Internet Use Disorder become an authorized diagnosis in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).  In the next edition (2013) of the DSM Internet Use Disorder will appear in the appendix of the manual which means it will now be considered an issue and requires more research.

There are two school of thoughts regarding Internet Use Disorder being classified as an authorized diagnosis. The first group supports classifying it as an authorized diagnosis, as this will mean that more people will be able to seek treatment and have the disorder covered by their health insurance policies. The second group feels that while Internet Use Disorder may be an issue, it is more likely a symptom of another disorder, such as depression.

Here is an interesting news video that covers this topic. It is presented by KSDK Missouri.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

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