Always online? Beware of Internet addiction disorder

As many as 10 percent of Internet surfers are pathologically addicted to the Web, and although it can disrupt their lives, many doctors and mental health practitioners are unaware of the dangers, according to an article by psychiatrists at the Be’er Ya’acov Mental Health Center and Tel Aviv University.Writing in the latest issue of Harefuah, the Hebrew-langauge journal of the Israel Medical Association, Drs. Pinhas Dannon and Iulian Iancu note that Internet addiction is very similar to other addictions, such as pathological gambling, kleptomania (the uncontrollable urge to steal objects), trichotillomania (pulling out one’s one hair), sex addiction and pyromania (the urge to set and watch fires).

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