According to Block, Internet addiction should be included in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V). The author that the illness is found in three forms: excessive gaming, surfing the web for pornography or excessive e-mail/text messaging.

Whatever the case may be, the characteristics exhibited are the same:

– excessive use use, often associated with a loss of sense of time or a neglect of basic drives
– withdrawal, including feelings of anger, tension, and/or depression when the computer is inaccessible
– tolerance, including the need for better computer equipment, more software, or more hours of use
– negative repercussions, including arguments, lying, poor achievement, social isolation, and fatigue

The article goes on reminding the readers how things have gone to the worse in Asia. Ten people have died in South Korean Internet cafes due to exhaustion and the average high school student in country spends around 23 hours a week playing online games. According to data from 2006, over 210,000 children required treatment for excessive gaming and Internet usage.

The situation doesn’t get any better in China, where 13.7% of teenagers are addicted to the Internet, says Block.

The complete article is available here.