August 30, 2009

First Rehab Center for Internet Addiction Opens

Wow. Apparently now, you can be addicted to the internet. Not that I find that completely odd or anything. There's a wealth of knowledge on the internet - an infinite resource to bring you any piece of information you could ever want. It's a tool that connects every single human being on the entire globe -- all through a prefix of "www."

Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) is now being treated in the U.S. at reSTART, a 45-day treatment program facility (near Seattle) for internet, gaming, texting and video gaming excessive use. It's designed to take serious sufferers of IAD and bring balance to their lives. It only takes 2-6 people at a time and essentially deprives them from the web, working to reprogram their social skills. How, you ask? Well, admitted patients work with a recreation coach, a therapist, exercise and yoga instructors and more. Truly, this all sounds so lovely!

So how do you know if you qualify as an Internet Addict? Well, to make it into reSTART you have to dsplay symptoms of its nine guidelines for IAD. Here they are:

1. Have a strong desire or impulse to use the internet. CHECK

2. Decreasing or stopping of the internet leads to withdrawal symptoms (e.g., general malaise, restlessness, irritability, lack of concentration, dyssomnia); and the above mentioned symptoms may be relieved by similar electronic media (e.g., TV, handheld games, gaming devices). CHECK

3. Continually increasing the amount of internet use and the extent of internet involvement to reach sense of satisfaction. EH

4. Use of internet in spite of its harmful effects; despite knowledge of harmful effects, internet use is hard to stop. THE INTERNET HAS HARMFUL EFFECTS I'M SUPPOSED TO KNOW ABOUT?

5. Difficulties controlling beginning, and finishing, and the duration of time of internet use; efforts to modify internet use may be attempted multiple times without success. I MEAN....

6. As a result of internet use, interests, recreation or social activities are decreased or abandoned. NO, OF COURSE NOT. I GOTTA LOCK IT UP SOON.

7. Internet use is seen as a way to escape problems or to gain relief from negative feelings. NO

8. The extent of internet use is denied or minimized to teachers, schoolmates, friends or professionals (including actual time and expenditure of internet contact). UM, N/A?

9. Everyday life and social function is impaired (e.g., in social, academic and workability.) I SUPPOSE IT DEPENDS WHO YOU TALK TO

Hmm, so I guess I don't necessarily qualify - but I wonder if people's employers would count this as a feasible leave of absence? Also, do you think it's funny that their website has a blog? I mean, is that not a bit counter-intuitive?

I failed to mention that IAD is an ongoing debate. Many scientists and professionals believe that such a disorder cannot possibly exist.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS?