Thursday, October 19, 2006

US internet addicts 'as ill as alcoholics' - tech - 18 October 2006 - New Scientist Tech

18 October 2006 - New Scientist Tech:
"The US could be rife with 'internet addicts' who are as clinically ill as alcoholics, according to psychiatrists involved in a nationwide study.

The study, carried out by researchers at Stanford University School of Medicine in California, US, indicates that more than one in eight US residents show signs of 'problematic internet use'.

The Stanford researchers interviewed 2513 adults in a nationwide survey. Because internet addiction is not a clinically defined medical condition, the questions used were based on analysis of other addiction disorders.

Most disturbing, according to the study's lead author Elias Aboujaoude, is the discovery that some people hide their internet surfing, or go online to cure foul moods – behaviour that mirrors the way alcoholics behave.

'In a sense, they're using the internet to self-medicate,' Aboujaoude says. 'And, obviously, something is wrong when people go out of their way to hide their internet activity.'
Non-essential use

Nearly 14% of respondents said they found it difficult to stay away from the internet for several days and 12% admitted that they often remain online longer than expected.

More than 8% of those surveyed said they hid internet use from family, friends and employers, and the same percentage confessed to going online to flee from real-world problems. Approximately 6% also said their personal relationships had suffered as a result of excessive internet usage.

'Potential markers of problematic internet use are present in a sizeable portion of the population,' the researchers note.
Compulsive drive

Aboujaoude, a psychiatry professor at Stanford's Impulse Control Disorders Clinic, says an increasing number of people are seeking help from doctors because of unhealthy internet use.

He compares the compulsive drive to check email, make blog entries or visit websites to substance abuse – an irresistible urge to perform a temporarily pleasurable act."

Naturally, I had to put this in my blog.


Blogger Weedgardener said...

Hmmm. Do we know anyone like that? Are there treatment facilities located far from phone lines? Should we seek one out?

Thursday, October 19, 2006 at 9:21:00 AM PDT  
Blogger steve said...

let's check for one on the net....

Friday, October 20, 2006 at 2:15:00 PM PDT  

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