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 April 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 April 24, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Monkeys Are Better At Math Than We Thought, Study Shows

Newsy (Apr. 23, 2014) A Harvard University study suggests monkeys can use symbols to perform basic math calculations. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet

AP (Apr. 22, 2014) The future of Aereo, an online service that provides over-the-air TV channels, hinges on a battle with broadcasters that goes before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. (April 22) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Aereo Takes on Broadcast TV Titans in Supreme Court Today

Aereo Takes on Broadcast TV Titans in Supreme Court Today

TheStreet (Apr. 22, 2014) Aereo heads to the Supreme Court today to fight for its right to stream broadcast TV over the Internet -- against broadcasters who say the start-up infringes upon copyright law. TheStreet Deputy Managing Editor Leon Lazaroff explains the importance of the case in the TV industry and details what the outcome of it could mean for broadcasters and for cloud storage services -- as Aereo allows its subscribers to not just watch live TV shows but also store content to a DVR in the cloud. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Lytro Introduces 'Illum,' A Professional Light-Field Camera

Newsy (Apr. 22, 2014) The light-field photography engineers at Lytro unveiled their next innovation: a professional DSLR-like camera called "Illum." Video provided by Newsy
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