Skip to main content

Internet Addiction May Become Official "Disorder"

Are we all just a crazy bunch of wackos because we can't get enough of the Internet? Because all we want to do is sit behind the LCD screen and search for this or download that? Apparently a way of life, a means to acquire information and purchase goods across the globe, could be considered as an addiction if the American Psychiatric Association has its way.

According to Techdirt, the APA is actually considering to make internet addiction a permanent diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The condition is one of many changes proposed for the fifth installment (DSM-5)-- this will be the first update since 1994.

However many professionals are disturbed by the "label," fearing that it won't address the true nature of the addiction.

"Making 'Internet addiction' an official diagnostic category is just wrong on so many levels, including, I believe, making it more difficult to get the right kind of help to those who have actually become painfully stuck online," said Todd Essig, PH.D. of Psychology Today. "Many people are turning from life lived to life online and they need help, but real help for real problems, not newly-minted addictions. "

Large amounts of Internet time, ranging from surfing long hours to maddening stretches of MMOPRPG gaming, have been noted as signs of depression. The Internet is a distraction, taking the mind away from both mundane and underlying problems. As Techdirt points out, the technological addictions aren't addictions to these mediums, but rather serves as a pacifier to cope with deeper issues.

So what constitutes Internet addiction? That's a good question. As Captain Obvious would say, it's presumably when you've lost your family, your job, your home, and you're living on the street because you lived and breathed Internet.