Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is a growing problem worldwide. The Korean government has declared Internet addiction a public health crisis, and both the Chinese and Korean governments have setup mandatory boot camps to wean internet-addicted citizens back into the offline world. See extensive Wired magazine article from 2010 where Internet Addiction is referred to as "one of China’s most feared public health hazards".  Internet Addiction is a problem that is not going away, and the Chinese government continues to operate "Boot Camps" treating Internet Addiction.  There are "Internet fasting camps" in Japan designed to ween children away from their addiction to the online world.  WebJunkie, an interesting documentary released at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, further explores the problem in China.  Internet Addiction is closely related to Internet Pornography Addiction and Internet Gaming Disorder.

New stories and issues regarding Internet Addiction are popping up regularly. I'll try to post some of the more interesting one's below:

My Doctoral Project/Dissertation was on the topic of Internet Addiction and the DSM-5.  The paper includes several hundred academic articles on this and related topics.  In the conclusion of the paper, I offer several speculations as to why the diagnosis has not yet been accepted by the American Psychiatric Association (APA).

Your brain may never be the same! Watch our Q&A:

Do I have internet addiction disorder? Would you face greater withdrawal if I took away your phone or computer for a week or sent you somewhere without coffee? Staying connected is essential these days. Posting pictures of lunch online is not essential unless you're in restaurant marketing.

This documentary examines the rapid rise of technology, our over-dependence on it, and what it could mean for the future of humanity.

Digital media changing brains is not rocket science... it's simply neuroscience.

We are all a bit too connected to our smartphones and web-connected devices. Dr. Young helps identify warning signs of Internet addiction and what we can do to manage technology in our daily lives.

WINNER - RTÉ Factual Award - Fresh Film Festival 2015 WINNER - Best Documentary - Galway Junior Film Fleadh 2014: A short documentary about Internet Addiction by 18-year old filmmaker Eoin Corbett.


Internet Gaming Disorder

Internet Gaming Disorder is the first Internet-related problem recognized by the American Psychiatric Association.  Although not yet fully recognized as a "full disorder", Internet Gaming Disorder is listed in the DSM-5 as a "Condition for Further Study".  This provides legitimacy to the condition, and facilitates grant money to researchers seeking to further understand the problem.  Unfortunately, many people confuse Internet Addiction with addiction to gaming, although leading experts in the field argue that Internet Addiction Disorder and Internet Gaming Disorder are NOT the same

Although the concept may seem foreign, or even silly, some individuals struggling with the disorder have suffered fatal consequences. For example:

It may seem that the problem is exclusive to Asian countries, but it is not.  While the problem of Internet Addiction is being experienced more acutely in countries like China, Japan, and South Korea, we westerners are not impervious to experiencing these worst-case-scenarios: 

Article: Is Internet Gaming Disorder a Real Addiction? 

Online Gamers Anonymous - LOVE CHILD 사이버 사랑 is a documentary film about Internet policy development. Centered in South Korea - the world's most wired nation - LOVE CHILD follows the story of the first case where "Internet addiction" was cited as a mental illness defense and looks at today's Korean gaming culture in search of harmony in an increasingly immersive media environment, where virtual is the new reality.
Internet addiction is now a global issue. An increasing number of people, especially young adults, are using the Internet more than ever before. The film delves into a Beijing treatment center and explores the cases of three young Chinese teenagers from the day they arrive at the treatment center through the 3 months period of being held at the center, and then their return to their homes.