Psychologists try to get internet addiction classified as a disorder - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Psychologists try to get internet addiction classified as a disorder

By Casey Nicholson bio | email

Technology worker James Foy says:"I don't have cable, so I watch a lot of podcasts on the internet."

He on his computer...

"...and I read various news sites," he says.

consantly.

"I work the phones quite a bit so I'll go in between looking at some of the personal stuff to keep my mind fresh."

Foy doesn't know how long he spends on the computer but he does consider himself a bit addicted.

"Yes but I'm moving myself away from it yes," he says.

But more and more people are moving toward "it."

Studies have shown that internet addiction is on the rise, so much so, therapists are trying to get it designated as a clinical disorder.

Studies show it mostly affects people between the ages of 18 and 30.

Men more than women.

Men tend to abuse on-line games, gambling and pornography.

Women: chat rooms and online shopping.

Psychotherapist Neil Cline says, "If a disconnect from social interaction is happening, than that potentially is a red flag."

He says anyone spending more than 4 hours on the internet on personal things a day is in danger of suffering from isolation and depression.

"I believe the time can add up quickly and before you know it, an hour or two is gone."

Cline says that's especially true for people who visit virtual worlds.

"It's not a good replacement for natural interaction," he says.

David Suchan, an internet user says:"It's a convenience."

And unlike other addictions, society pushes us to use the internet.

"I do all my shopping online," says Suchan. 

But Cline urges everyone to try to control that urge.

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