Calls to class internet addiction as a mental disorder

Do you get the shakes if you're off line for more than five minutes and can't Twitter? Well then, according to a new study published this month, you're as mad as mad Jack Mc Mad, winner of last year's Mr.Madman competition.

The editorial in this month's American Journal of Psychiatry claims that internet addiction - which includes "excessive gaming, sexual preoccupations and e-mail/text messaging" - is a common compulsive-impulsive disorder that needs to be added to the official guidebook of psychiatric mental disorders.

Furthermore, the report reveals that evil gamma rays emitted by the interwebnet have the power to turn the human mind into an abominable brain stew. Well, it actually doesn't say that last bit.

The author of the study, Dr. Jerald Block, argues that compulsive internet users, just like other addicts, experience cravings, urges, withdrawal symptoms and want to spend more and more hours online. Internet addicts also lose complete track of time and neglect the "basic drives" like eating and sleeping. What? Is it that time already? And to think we haven't even had last night's dinner yet.

South Korea has introduced measures to deal with excessive internet after 10 people dropped dead in Internet cafes in South Korea from heart problems after over excessive online gaming. According to Dr Block the South Korean government has trained more than 1,000 counsellors in the treatment of Internet addiction.

In China the government has introduced laws discouraging internet users to spend more than three hours online following the death of a 24-year-old who had been playing computer games non-stop for 86 hours!

So, to sum up, everyone that you know who uses the internet, including yourself, is crackers.

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