Internet Addiction One Step Closer To Being Classified As A Mental Illness

If psychologists get their way, internet addiction will apparently soon be classified as a full-fledged, official disease in the definitive psychiatric manual used by healthcare professionals around the world.

According to Moscow’s RT.com, “The international mental health encyclopedia known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) will include Internet-use disorder as a condition ‘recommended for further study’ in its forthcoming May 2013 edition.”

This inclusion will reportedly serve to move internet addiction one step closer to being recognized as a mental illness, “which could leaded to formal diagnoses of the disorder in the future.”

At least some psychologists claim that internet addiction or internet-use disorder has the same withdrawal symptoms as other addictions, according to Forbes.com:

“Internet Use Disorder has the many of the basic hallmarks of any other addiction. According to the American Psychiatric Association, the crafters of the DSM-V, a person with IUD will experience ‘preoccupation’ with the internet or internet gaming, withdrawal symptoms when the substance (internet) is no longer available, tolerance (the need to spend more and more time on the internet to achieve the same ‘high’), loss of other interests, unsuccessful attempts to quit, and use of the internet to improve or escape dysphoric mood.”

Psychologists also want the disorder to extend beyond gamers (who are primarily drawn from the younger cohort) and into all age groups of those who might be spending way too much time with their electronic devices.

Do you think that internet addiction is a legitimate mental health concern that requires treatment along the lines of substance abuse or other conditions?