It's easy to lose a few hours a day to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or World of Warcraft. But do you think it's possible for a person become addicted to the internet?
Signs seem to suggest it's possible. Recently, a residential treatment center for internet addiction opened in the Seattle area. The center says its the first in the US. And several countries-like China, South Korea and Taiwan, take internet addiction very seriously and already have these types of centers available.
However, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) does not currently consider internet addiction as a separate mental health disorder. And there is a debate on whether internet addiction should be listed as a separate illness in it's next edition of the "Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders", due out in 2012.
Why is this important? Because, this manual plays a part in determining which mental illnesses get covered by insurance. Since internet addiction is not currently listed as a separate illness in the manual, treatment for internet addiction is generally not covered by insurance. The fee for the new treatment center is $14,000--a fee a lot of people may not be able to afford, even if they need the help.
Some experts say internet addiction is just a symptom of other mental illness, like depression and anxiety disorders.
What do you think? Does internet addiction exist? Should it be classified as a separate mental health illness? Share your thoughts.
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