Doctors have no problem treating disorders that don’t officially exist, including Internet addiction, one of those non-existent disorders that nonetheless actually has clinics devoted to its “treatment.”

“But Dr. Grohol,” you might protest, “How can you say that? There’s been years worth of research …

6 Comments to
Why Internet Addiction Still Doesn’t Exist

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  1. Same with Text SMS messaging on the cellphone. It is just one of the new ways to communicate…

    An article like this one refuting the existence of internet addiction is just a spin on earlier articles that state the same null findings…

  2. So, what should I expect next: go to an AA meeting and listen to speakers tell the group that alcoholism is overreported.

    Sham on this site to claim the above. Another example of why blogs are overrated until proven otherwise. This is an underregulated and minimally monitored medium.

    And, while not this site in particular, it is a travesty what this medium as a whole is doing to mental health because of these lack of boundaries. I think responsible people know better though. It is just a shame there are not enough of such persons to make a significant difference these days.

    Sorry. but after that headline, this rebuttal needed said. Happy Holidays to all.

  3. Sorry, no one’s saying that alcoholism doesn’t exist or is over-reported. What the new research does say is simple — “Internet addiction” is a shaky concept with little scientific backing despite a decade’s worth of research.

    Not sure what your comments about blogs have to do with this topic, but okay….

  4. My apologies if the blog comments seem unrelated. I have perused sites like yours and find some, not yours in particular, use mental health issues as an opening to diminish the value of treatment, especially through the commentary sections. I read the posting and felt it was just minimizing an issue, this one for me I feel applies as I was getting obsessed with battling others at a blog that seemed like an addictive quality for me as it progressed, so I weighed in here to say otherwise.

    If there are sites or groups you feel are legitimate in examining internet use as an addiction, could you provide some direction?

    Thanks for considering.

    therapyfirst, BC psychiatrist, staunch advocate for mental health issues of legitimacy

  5. Ha– trying living with a mother whis is an “internet addict,” with a non-existant addiction.

    When the internet takes precendence over family, food, cleaning, finances, social relationships, etc… then there really needs to be a subgroup of people who actually be deemed as having “internet addiction”– an addiction that exists.

  6. I AM an internet addict. I don’t need no stinkin’ evidence. I AM all the evidence I need.

  7. I wholeheartedly agree with you here and it seems that as per its usual behavior the comment section merely skimmed the article. While some people will have issues integrating the internet into their lives many of us use the internet in the same way that one would use a library. As a whole the internet is a very pro-social experience and the majority of us who use the internet regularly use it for social efforts and collaboration. Many peer-reviewed papers I have found either for bias or for lack of understanding lump all internet use into one activity. Neglecting the fact that the internet is not merely a depository of porn and cat videos. Half of what I know came from spending time surfing Wikipedia (always check the edit history kids and revisit articles between at least two days!) and not from traditional schools. Some people will spend and inappropriate amount of time on Facebook mindlessly clicking the like button under glorified advertizements in the same way that some people will unironically spend an inappropriate amount of time watching the shopping channel or infomercials. Merely because the internet is not a strictly regulated and purely academic medium does not diminish it’s validity and when people who do not wish to understand it or the nuances and openness it provides attempt to compare it to use of serious drugs I can’t help but feel like something has gone wrong in the peer reviewing process to make many of these papers read like glorified rants.

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