Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What Exactly Is 'Internet Addiction' And What Is The Treatment?

Date:
August 18, 2007
Source:
Tel Aviv University
Summary:
Is your first craving in the morning for your computer mouse? Do you obsessively check email in the middle of the night? If so, you may be among the ten percent of all Internet surfers afflicted with "Internet addiction disorder," a pathological condition that can lead to anxiety and severe depression.

Is your first craving in the morning for your computer mouse? Do you obsessively check email in the middle of the night?

If so, you may be among the ten percent of all Internet surfers afflicted with “Internet addiction disorder,” a pathological condition that can lead to anxiety and severe depression. To better diagnose and treat Internet addiction, Dr. Pinhas Dannon, a psychiatrist from Tel Aviv University’s Sackler Faculty of Medicine, recommends that it be grouped with other extreme addictive disorders such as gambling, sex addiction, and kleptomania.

A senior lecturer at Tel Aviv University, Dr. Dannon is known worldwide for work in the area of gambling and addiction, a major research focus for him since 1995. His first article on kleptomania was published in 1996. He will present his new research findings on addiction at the National Gambling Council’s meeting in Las Vegas this November.

Internet addiction is currently classified by mental health professionals as an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a mild to severe mental health condition that results in an urge to engage in ritualistic thoughts and behavior, such as excessive handwashing or, in the case of the Internet, Web surfing. “But we are saying that we need to look at Internet addiction differently,” reports Dr. Dannon on behalf of his colleagues from Tel Aviv University and the Be'er Ya'acov Mental Health Center. “Internet addiction is not manifesting itself as an ‘urge.’ It’s more than that. It’s a deep ‘craving.’ And if we don’t make the change in the way we classify Internet addiction, we won’t be able to treat it in the proper way.”

Two groups are at greatest risk from Internet addiction disorder, Dr. Dannon warns. The first are teenagers. But more surprisingly, the second are women and men in their mid-50s suffering from the loneliness of an “empty nest.” The symptoms of Internet addiction in both groups are vague and are often difficult to diagnose. Sufferers may experience loss of sleep, anxiety when not online, isolation from family and peer groups, loss of work, and periods of deep depression.

Treating Internet addiction can only be done effectively, believes Dr. Dannon, if the condition is treated like any other extreme and menacing addiction. For example, a clinician could use talk therapy or prescribe medication such as Serotonin blockers and Naltrexone, which are also effective against kleptomania and pathological gambling. No less important, Dr. Dannon stresses, is that mental health practitioners in schools and workplaces should be made aware of the risks of Internet addiction. Workshops on these risks should be held in both milieus, he advises.

Dr. Dannon and his colleagues have recently reported their findings in the Journal of Clinical Psychopharmacology; and have since waged a mini-campaign around the world to warn doctors about the dangers associated with excessive Internet use. Their research on gambling addiction has been used to educate American doctors taking the annual “Continuing Medical Education” test taken before the doctors can renew a license to practice medicine.

According to Dr. Dannon, Internet addicts are inevitable and a product of modernization. “They are just like anyone else who is addicted to coffee, exercise, or talking on their cellular phone. As the times change, so do our addictions.”


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Tel Aviv University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Tel Aviv University. "What Exactly Is 'Internet Addiction' And What Is The Treatment?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 August 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070817130113.htm>.
Tel Aviv University. (2007, August 18). What Exactly Is 'Internet Addiction' And What Is The Treatment?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070817130113.htm
Tel Aviv University. "What Exactly Is 'Internet Addiction' And What Is The Treatment?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070817130113.htm (accessed July 24, 2014).

Share This




More Computers & Math News

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

Creative Makeovers for Ugly Cellphone Towers

AP (July 24, 2014) Mobile phone companies and communities across the country are going to new lengths to disguise those unsightly cellphone towers. From a church bell tower to a flagpole, even a pencil, some towers are trying to make a point. (July 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Facebook Earnings Put Smile on Investors Faces

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) Facebook earnings beat forecasts- with revenue climbing 61 percent. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
StubHub Caught in Global Cyber Crime Ring

StubHub Caught in Global Cyber Crime Ring

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) eBay's StubHub is caught up in an international cyber crime ring stretching from North America to Europe. Conway G. Gittens reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

    Health News

      Environment News

        Technology News



          Save/Print:
          Share:

          Free Subscriptions


          Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

          Get Social & Mobile


          Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

          Have Feedback?


          Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
          Mobile: iPhone Android Web
          Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
          Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
          Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins