Internet Junkie Mental Illness?

Dr. Jerald Block from the Oregon Health & Science University wrote an editorial in the March issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry stating compulsive internet use should be classified as a mental illness, under the parameters of addiction. He points out that excessive time spent online leads to cravings and withdrawals and the neglect of basic human needs, just like any other addiction.

Uh oh…I hate to admit it but this hits home. I can’t tell you how many days I’ve realized I haven’t eaten because I was sucked into web surfing, video watching and social networking for the previous 7 hours. In fact, I should be sleeping right now but instead I’m STILL online. And from observing my fellow geeky friends, it seems I’m not the only one having trouble disconnecting. We all carry phones that allow us to log on at any moment, we are in a constant convo through twitter and quite a few of us have had to force ourselves to take a mandatory time out to focus on the 3D world.   Are we crazy???

Let’s all try to remember balance and prove this doctor wrong! :p


3 responses to “Internet Junkie Mental Illness?

  1. For many of us the Internet is our business, our livelihood and I don’t think paying attention to your “store”, your “costumers” and your “brand” should be considered an addiction or a mental illness.

    I’m sure Dr.Block spends time using the Internet to stay informed on his line of work so like him, I think there are many of us that fit into a different category.

    That’s my professional opinion and I’m sticking to it.

  2. I agree with Tim, to a certain degree, however I still have days, or entire weekends where I put the laptop, blackberry, iPod Touch, or any other internet receiving device away and focus on life in the meat world. It’s refreshing and really does show me how much of my life is lived virtually right now.

  3. The problem with Dr. Block’s analysis is his failure to look beyond his own experiences and comprehend modern-day internet usage as part of the “basic needs” for a certain segment of the population who work and play online. This isn’t a drug — the internet CAN be a productive, fulfilling, entertaining, social outlet. Not to say some people aren’t addicted… but to label all heavy users as addicts is ridiculous.

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