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No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’

 
smilesun
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User ID: 25007613
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10/05/2012 02:54 PM
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No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’
The media has been buzzing with the supposed news that ‘internet addiction’ has been added to the list of ‘official mental disorders’. This is nonsense, but it tells us something oddly disappointing about how the media handles tech scare scores.

This recent wave of ‘the internet is making us crazy’ drivel stemmed from an article published in The Sydney Morning Herald and the story soon went global – being picked up by everyone from the Wall Street Journal to Russia Today.

Firstly, for those of you who are not aware why the concept of internet addiction is so untrue it’s a logical impossibility, I’ll direct you to an earlier post.

But talking specifically about the article which sparked the media panic attack, it’s odd in that it quotes two psychologists – one who has never published anything on internet addiction and the other who is a Reiki therapist. This doesn’t make it wrong but it does strike me as slightly strange for a news piece.

The article is trying to talk about the listing of ‘internet use disorder‘ in a non-diagnosable section of the DSM-5 for conditions “recommended for further study”.

This section has speculative and non-official disorders in it. You can find caffeine use disorder there if you’re feeling a bit jittery.

It also has the diagnosis of attenuated psychosis syndrome in it. Here’s how science journal Nature reacted when this diagnosis was listed in the same section: “Psychosis risk syndrome excluded from DSM-5″

In other words, if something appears in the DSM-5 section “recommended for further study” it is excluded from the list of ‘official mental illnesses’ because the diagnosis has been evaluated but found to be unsupported by research evidence.

It’s a mystery why this has suddenly become ‘news’ now because this decision has been discussed for years and it finally happened last May.

But it’s also worth noting that even the proposed definition of internet use disorder isn’t actually about using the internet, it’s about online gaming. This doesn’t make it any less nonsense, however. If someone who is addicted to gambling starts playing online do they suddenly have ‘another mental illness’? Clearly not.

Similarly, the idea that someone can be ‘addicted to gaming’ is just daft as the concept of ‘gaming’ is so wide as to not describe any single behaviour or experience – something quite important if you’re going to say that there is a mental illness based on it.

More interestingly, the The Sydney Morning Herald article has a curious quirk that allows us to see how lazily these stories get picked up and flung around.

Read more [link to mindhacks.com]
Anonymous Coward
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10/05/2012 02:55 PM
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Re: No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’
it should be...how is it any different from any other "learned" mental illness (like paranoia)?
smilesun (OP)

User ID: 25007613
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10/05/2012 03:29 PM
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Re: No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’
it should be...how is it any different from any other "learned" mental illness (like paranoia)?
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 24887482


Too much information. How to cope with data overload ... Turn off your mobile phone and internet from time to time. But such ruses are not enough. :-).
Anonymous Coward
User ID: 19910005
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10/05/2012 03:33 PM
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Re: No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’
As someone who is addicted to the internet, I can tell you that the OP is completely wrong. I have been addicted to video games/tv/the internet since the time I was a small child. It doesn't always affect my job performance or my "off line" life. But sometimes it really affects it a lot. I have a lot of stress right now and, instead of hitting the bottle or doing drugs, I have been wasting time on the internet.

And I'm not saying I'm an addict because of the recent news. The firt time I told a therapist that I was addicted to the internet was 2.5 years ago. She laughed it off and said that "people don't get addicted to the internet." She, like the OP, was wrong.

I am now going to take active steps to overcome my addiction. But it makes my job, working at a computer all day, very difficult when the compulsion to come online is so very strong.
Fhirinne

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10/05/2012 03:45 PM
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Re: No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’
Nothing in the DSM or the soon to come out DSM-5 is an official mental illness.

Everything in it was voted in or voted out.
You are the CEO of your own wellness. You need to take back your health from the disease-care system
smilesun (OP)

User ID: 25007613
Italy
10/05/2012 03:48 PM
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Re: No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’
As someone who is addicted to the internet, I can tell you that the OP is completely wrong. I have been addicted to video games/tv/the internet since the time I was a small child. It doesn't always affect my job performance or my "off line" life. But sometimes it really affects it a lot. I have a lot of stress right now and, instead of hitting the bottle or doing drugs, I have been wasting time on the internet.

And I'm not saying I'm an addict because of the recent news. The firt time I told a therapist that I was addicted to the internet was 2.5 years ago. She laughed it off and said that "people don't get addicted to the internet." She, like the OP, was wrong.

I am now going to take active steps to overcome my addiction. But it makes my job, working at a computer all day, very difficult when the compulsion to come online is so very strong.
 Quoting: Anonymous Coward 19910005


Anything can hurt you if you take too much, strange but true: drinking too much water can kill.
[link to www.scientificamerican.com]
smilesun (OP)

User ID: 25007613
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10/05/2012 04:37 PM
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Re: No, internet addiction is not an ‘official mental illness’
Nothing in the DSM or the soon to come out DSM-5 is an official mental illness.

Everything in it was voted in or voted out.
 Quoting: Fhirinne


The final commenting period on the draft fifth edition of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) closed as of June 15, 2012. This commenting period marked the third and final time DSM-5 draft criteria was available for feedack, and we appreciate the time and effort that went into submitting comments.

Following the previous commenting period (May-July 2011), members of the DSM-5 Task Force and Work Groups reviewed feedback submitted to this site and, where appropriate, revised their proposed diagnostic criteria and made other changes. With the completion of the DSM-5 Field Trials, Work Group members have spent the past several months examining data and findings from these important studies. Therefore, the proposed diagnostic criteria found on this site are the result of the DSM-5 Work Groups' ongoing deliberations, based on findings from scientific field studies, patient and clinician perspectives, and views from the general public. We want to stress that revisions will continue to be made, as necessary, over the next several months. [link to www.dsm5.org]

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