Net addiction could be a mental disorder


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Net addiction could be a mental disorder

Addiction to internet and online games or 'internet misuse' soon to be classified as a mental disorder.

The condition of pathological internet misuse (read spending hours surfing or playing games) has prompted international mental health experts to include this addiction for further study. Teenage internet and gaming addiction has parents rushing in droves to psychiatrists and psychologists for quick fixes.

Clinical psychologist and trauma therapist Seema Hingorrany notes an increase T in the number of patients with such cases, "I had a patient, a 12-year-old girl unable to go to school due to an addiction to social networking sites. This girl browses the internet late nights for four to five hours at a stretch and is, therefore, unable to go to school or even study. There's a 13-year-old boy who developed an addiction to a game based on the supernatural and has developed a fear of ghosts."

Hingorrany adds that such an addiction is "affecting kids clinically" and has harmful effects like lack of ability to concentrate, eyestrain, over eating, lack of physical activity, etc. Also, kids can get violent, threaten to run away from home and in some cases threaten to commit suicide as well.

Akanksha Agarwal Puprediwar who is a personality development counsellor for children in the city opines that this study is "need of the hour". Internet and gaming addicts are so engrossed in the virtual world that they do not want to interact with people in the real world. This affects their Emotional Quotient (EQ), self-esteem and confidence.

Most parents can't find time for their children due to job pressures. Hence, kids find internet to be their best companion. Psychotherapist and clinical psychologist Varkha Chulani cites that the inability of parents to control their children's internet activities is a major reason for "this growing menace".

She points out that such children often suffer from intellectual stagnation and are prone to schizoid personality disorder. However, she disagrees that internet misuse should be classified as a mental health disorder as it's a bad habit and a question of reinforcement of behaviou

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