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Internet Addiction is a Clinical Disorder; A Cry for Help

June 22, 2008

 When I first read this story my first thought was here we go again. British psychiatrists are trying to claim that internet addiction is a clinical disorder, and that between five and ten percent of internet users are junkies.

Obsessive internet use is a public health problem which is so serious it should be officially recognised as a clinical disorder, according to a leading psychiatrist.

They suffer four symptoms: They forget to eat and sleep; they need more advanced technology or more hours on-line as they develop ‘resistance’ to the pleasure given by their current system; if they are deprived of their computer, they experience genuine withdrawal symptoms; And in common with other addictions, the victims also begin to have more arguments, to suffer fatigue, to get lower marks in tests and to feel isolated from society.

 The article even goes on to suggest that the addict forms a relationship with the computer.

“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.”

 Yes, there you have it, just another thing to worry about. Just another class of victims in a world where everyone thinks they are a victim of one thing or another. Nobody is to blame for their actions because society isn’t fair. Nobody can be held accountable because they are a victim of something.

 I was then going to write about how this whole internet addiction scam was nothing but an excuse for the government to start regulating the internet. More Nanny State regulation. After all, if people are addicted to the internet somebody has to do something to help them. Who better that the government? The government will make everything okay, just trust them. The government will impose their will for the common good.

 But then I started thinking about other issues and how the government deals with them and I started to change my tune.

 Children are going to have sex anyway so why not give them free birth control without their parents knowing? Problem. Problem solved.

 Drug addicts are going to shoot heroin anyway so we need to give them clean needles to use. Problem. Problem solved.

 One can naturally assume that in order to deal with internet addicts the government would provide free and safe internet access. Problem. Problem solved.

 That got me thinking. When I wake up in the morning I make a pot of coffee, jump in the shower and then…..go on-line. I need to go on-line before work. I need to see if there are any stories that I need to write about at night. I end up going to work a couple of minutes late because I was on the computer and couldn’t get myself away from it in time.

 It gets worse, much worse. When I get home from work and my boys or my wife are on the computer I feel a longing to go on-line. I want to check my blog. I NEED TO CHECK MY BLOG! How many hits do I have? Who has commented on what I have written? I NEED TO KNOW! I can’t help myself.

 After the boys go to bed I finally have the computer to myself. I spend three hours on the computer blogging, researching issues to blog about, and reading other blogs. I am now losing sleep because of my lust for information.

 But it gets worse, much worse still. Now I have a Blackberry and I can check my blog whenever I can take a break at work. I can hide in the bathroom stall and go on-line to hide my internet problem. I am connected 24-7, I can get my fix when I need it. I don’t need to wait to get an internet fix when I get home from work. I can shoot up whenever I need to. I have begun to answer comments on my blog during lunch instead of waiting to get home. I can’t help myself, I need to know what is going on. I need to check the news sites to make sure I haven’t missed anything. I can’t help it.

 They say the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem. So now I stand in front of you and declare, “my name is Steve and I have a problem. I am addicted to the internet.”

 Where do I sign up for free access?

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Project Openletter permalink
    June 23, 2008 11:52 am

    Hi, Steve. I’m an addict too.

    This was a funny and enjoyable post. I don’t think we can hope for free access though. 🙂


  2. June 23, 2008 12:52 pm

    Thanks. I am feeding my addiction right now.I won’t hold my breath waiting for the free access. 🙂


  3. June 25, 2008 9:47 pm

    Sign me up for free access, too. Unfortunately (fortunately – hehe) at my job we have NO access to personal email (gmail,yahoo,etc) and many sites are blocked. Plus because of the type of company everything is tracked up the wazoo so I really have to be careful which sites I choose to read.

    Basically, I don’t get enough sleep at night. 🙂

    But hey, who needs sleep?


  4. June 26, 2008 9:40 pm

    Sleep is over-rated. 🙂


  5. January 5, 2009 6:20 pm

    We have access only during the lunch only. Our project manager uses special program for that purpose Ez Internet Timer. It has even the ability to set browsing and messenging timers separately from emails. We have tried to break it, but regretfully could not do that 😦 I hate this software with all my heart.


  6. sourbugger permalink
    August 21, 2009 5:04 am

    This is the first time i’ve ever commented on a blog – so this is no idle pat on the back.

    I was researching ‘addiction’ at the time, and your comments made me laugh and think – a rare combination !


  7. October 23, 2009 5:59 am

    Those that commit dastardly crimes in the name of what ever Religion, will find No reward when they arrive before thier Judge. ,


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