(PCM) That’s right, internet addiction may be the new mental disorder.
The newly revised Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders (DSM-V) may soon include internet addiction, referred to as Internet Use Disorder (IUD). It hasn’t been made official yet; psychiatrists have listed IUD as a condition “recommended for further study” in the 2012 DSM-V. So, the question is: Do you have internet addiction?
According to the American Psychiatric Association, IUD is an addiction to Internet gaming. A person with IUD will experience “preoccupation” with the internet or internet gaming, withdrawal symptoms when the substance (internet) is no longer available, tolerance (the need to spend more and more time on the internet to achieve the same “high”), loss of other interests and hobbies, unsuccessful attempts to quit, and use of the internet to improve or escape dysphoric mood. (Source: Forbes)
Some studies have shown that people with internet addiction have shown permanent changes in their brains similar to what happens in the brains of people addicted to heroine and other substances. According to Yahoo!:
In a study published last year, Chinese researchers found reductions in brain volume in 18 young people who were addicted to the Internet compared with the brain volumes of non-addicts. The Internet addicts’ diminished brain regions included areas believed to play a role in emotional processing, executive thinking skills, attention and cognitive control. Furthermore, those who had been addicted longer had lower volumes in those brain regions, suggesting a cumulative effect.
If you believe you or someone you know suffers from internet addiction, visit netaddiction.com for more information.
Photo via Flickr, escapedtowisconsin