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The Internet Medicine

First US Inpatient Treatment Program For Internet Addiction Opening In September 89

Posted by samzenpus
from the just-one-more-page dept.
cold fjord writes "Fox News reports, '... a psychiatric hospital in central Pennsylvania is now set to become the country's first facility of its kind to offer an inpatient treatment program for people it diagnoses with severe Internet addiction. The voluntary, 10-day program is set to open on Sept. 9 at the Behavioral Health Services at Bradford Regional Medical Center. The program was organized by experts in the field and cognitive specialists with backgrounds in treating more familiar addictions like drug and alcohol abuse. '[Internet addiction] is a problem in this country that can be more pervasive than alcoholism,' said Dr. Kimberly Young, ... 'The Internet is free, legal and fat free.' The program is designed to accommodate four adult patients at a time, with each new class slated to begin treatment on the same day. These classes take part in group therapy and are placed inside a wing of the hospital designated for other addicts. These patients will undergo a psychological evaluation and learn ways they can minimally use the Internet and avoid problematic applications.'"
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First US Inpatient Treatment Program For Internet Addiction Opening In September

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  • by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Monday September 02, 2013 @07:09AM (#44737693) Homepage Journal
    . . .for the one you do via SMS, while driving. Preliminary course outlines involve a cliff, I heard.
    • by Dishevel (1105119)
      This story is just more proof that a vast majority of people are fucking idiots and need to die do to their inability to fend for themselves.

      Pull all the warning labels off things. Let Darwin take care of more people.

      • You really don't understand how bureaucracy works, do you?
        • by Dishevel (1105119)
          Sure I do.

          They Don't.

          What was your point?

          • Bureaucracy is a cast. You need it for that fracture, but it never leaves, and atrophy follows.
          • by ultranova (717540)

            The alternative to bureaucracy is that some guy makes the decisions by himself. He dictates them. Let's call him "the dicatotor", shall we? Or we could go with anarchy and let the guy with the biggest stick take over.

            Congratulations, you're one of the "fucking idiots" who "need to die", according to yourself. But the problem is that you'll take more people with you and fuck things up on your way out even for those left behind. Which is why we need the warning labels on things and why the cold, unfeeling, be

            • by Dishevel (1105119)
              The other alternative is to not turn things that do not absolutely have to be done by the government into another government bureaucracy. Bureaucracy is a necessary evil. Let us do our best to keep it as small as possible though.
              • by ultranova (717540)

                The other alternative is to not turn things that do not absolutely have to be done by the government into another government bureaucracy.

                There is no such thing as "absolutely have to". You don't absolutely have to eat; you'll die if you don't, but that's just a matter of consequences which you would likely find unpleasant. And in some cases it might be better to go hungry for a while rather than eat unhealthy or downright poisonous food. It's the same with government: you have to actually think about the c

                • by Dishevel (1105119)
                  You do not need to have an FDA. We could just as easily get by with a private organization that certifies food and drugs as safe. The same way UL does. Bureaucracy is evil because they suck way more out of innovation and the economy than they need to. They kill jobs, slow innovation and hurt people all in the name of paperwork.

                  The FDA banning a drug for a child dying of cancer because its safety has not been established is evil and stupid. As long as the parents and or the child knows that it could be unsa

            • Or we could go with anarchy and let the guy with the biggest stick take over.

              It's not anarchy if anybody 'takes over'. Well, okay, it is for the guy who took over, but for everyone else it's the same old shit. And by the way, the guy with the biggest stick is in charge, in case you haven't noticed. Either way, no bureaucracy should be given a license to kill [wsj.com]...

      • Couldn't agree more. That is why I advocate removing all types of regulation and consumer protections. If you're too stupid to have your imported food tested for melamine content then you're too stupid to live, I say.

        By the way, you misspelled "due."

        • by Dishevel (1105119)
          Whoops on the "Due"

          I do not advocate removing all consumer protections. UL is good. FDA is needed even though it mostly sucks at its job. What we do not need is a warning lable telling us not to use a hair dryer in the shower. Let those people die.

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Those test are expensive though. We should all band together and create an organization to test this stuff, and put a label on the food that is safe to eat. The cost to each of us will be lower, even if we just pay someone to run the thing. I'm not just thinking small groups either. Whole states could do it... In fact, states could get together and form some kind of food testing federation!

  • by sosume (680416) on Monday September 02, 2013 @07:29AM (#44737801) Journal

    The Internet is free, legal and fat free

    So what is the problem? Some people will always be happy to find a time sink. If the internet didn't exist these 'addicts' would be eating, watching TV, gaming or taking illicit substances all day. So easy to blame the time sink when these problems are rooted much deeper.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Internet addiction is not considered a mental disorder. Currently it is an area for additional study in the DSM-V. So I do have to wonder, how are these people paying for this treatment? I don't think an insurance company is going to send someone to an expensive inpatient treatment facility for something that isn't classified as a mental disorder. And how is the place licensed? A lot of this does not make sense, and my SCAM alarm is ringing.

      • by 91degrees (207121)
        If this is an area for study, could this treatment be part of a study and funded by a university or whoever funds studies into mental disorders?
      • by reub2000 (705806)

        I'm sure a doctor can find something in the DSM-V that will stick.

      • by Seumas (6865)

        It will eventually be a disorder. The DSM is clearly intended to eventually classify every human being as having a disorder. Preferably, one that requires oversight, medication, or both.

      • by aokoye (1628741)
        Presumably people are paying for it out of pocket. It should also be noted that a lot of people in the US pay for mental health treatment out of pocket as it isn't uncommon for health insurance companies to say, cover 12 outpatient visits a year. Yes I realize that inpatient treatment is more expensive than outpatient, but if you figure that plenty of people are paying for 40+ outpatient mental health visits a year out of pocket it ends up being comparable.
    • by Thanshin (1188877) on Monday September 02, 2013 @07:54AM (#44737939)

      Once someone's set up on finding reasons to feed its brain and get the pleasure of feeling superior to others, it's no longer important if those reasons are real or not.

      Once one's addicted to the feeling of superiority, he has to feed it in increasingly growing doses. And you can only feel so smug for being whiter or having a better religion or living in a greater country. Eventually you need to also feel skinnier, more beautiful, more intelligent, or better in any way you can think of.

      Using less internet looks like decent crack for the severely smugness addicted.

      [Just like this very commentary, which, to the mind of the severely smugness addicted author, proves his immense intellectual superiority.]

      [In case you're wondering, speaking in third person is a symptom of the latest stages of smugness addiction.]

    • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Monday September 02, 2013 @08:00AM (#44737983) Journal
      Given that it's a voluntary adult treatment program, I assume we'll see pretty strong self-selection from people who think that it is a problem, presumably because they find themselves putzing around on the internet compulsively to the exclusion of doing whatever it is that they need and/or think that they want to do.

      That's the handy thing about self-selection: regardless of how trivial the problem seems, when they have to sign up (and stump up $14,000...) voluntarily, you can be pretty sure that you'll get a set of patients who are genuinely deeply troubled by it. Given that the internet isn't physically addictive, and large swaths of it are actually pretty dull in excess, I'd expect somebody who seeks treatment for 'internet addiction' to have some sort of doing-stuff issue (even if the root cause is something like an anxiety issue, with the internet just being the most accessible retreat).

      Once you start doing involuntary adult or child work, you are under rather more of an obligation to have an actual criterion or criteria to distinguish 'Timmy would rather play WoW than do homework, which upsets his parents' from 'Timmy is an addict', since there you are indulging in overt coercion at the behest of people other than the patient.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      That is probably what this program works to improve. Bringing balance back to their lives. Figuring out the other problems they have.

      Using the internet for 1-2 hours a day isn't a problem, using it for 12-16 hours a day, day after day is. I've been known to spend that much time on-line before and you have problems functioning in the real world. When are you going to shop, make money (if you need to), clean, exercise, cook, etc...

      And yes, TV is an easy thing to get addicted to as well as the Inte

    • by aardvarkjoe (156801) on Monday September 02, 2013 @08:52AM (#44738231)

      So what is the problem? Some people will always be happy to find a time sink.

      An addiction is not just a "time sink." It's an addiction when you can't stop a behavior, even when it is harming your life.

      Acknowledging that some people are addicted to internet usage, and need help, is not the same as saying that the internet is "bad." There's no need to get so defensive about it.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        So what is the problem? Some people will always be happy to find a time sink.

        An addiction is not just a "time sink." It's an addiction when you can't stop a behavior, even when it is harming your life.

        Acknowledging that some people are addicted to internet usage, and need help, is not the same as saying that the internet is "bad." There's no need to get so defensive about it.

        No, that's not addiction. Addiction is when you ingest a substance into your body which causes you to develop a physical dependance. What you're referring to is called a "habit". In common usage, thanks to War on Drugs propaganda, the two terms are used interchangeably most of the time, but there's an important difference. With habits, you're not bound to a particular substance or activity- you can replace one activity with another. With addiction, you cannot- only that particular substance will fulfill the

        • You're either misinformed or just making stuff up.

          A habit is a behaviour or activity you engage in, but can exercise control over. An addiction is an activity over which you have lost control (IOW you can't stop yourself from doing it, even if you know full well that it will lead to an undesirable result).

          Ingestion of a substance can be either a habit or an addiction, but is not a distinguishing factor between the two--for example, heroin is known to be chemically addictive (i.e., physiologically addictive)

        • The portrayal of behavioral addiction as just being due to the addict being weak-willed has not been current for several decades. If you know any psychologists, I would suggest asking them about the subject -- it's quite interesting. There are methods of treating addiction, but telling them to just quit doing it is very rarely successful.

          Most addicts initially made poor choices to get themselves into the situation that they are in. But once they are, they need help to get back out. We don't deny people

        • by tlhIngan (30335)

          No, that's not addiction. Addiction is when you ingest a substance into your body which causes you to develop a physical dependance. What you're referring to is called a "habit". In common usage, thanks to War on Drugs propaganda, the two terms are used interchangeably most of the time, but there's an important difference. With habits, you're not bound to a particular substance or activity- you can replace one activity with another. With addiction, you cannot- only that particular substance will fulfill the

    • by murdocj (543661)

      "The problem" is when using the Internet starts interfering with the rest of your life. When you missing work and losing your girlfriend because you'd rather kill virtual dragons all day than participate in reality. It's one thing to be passionate about a hobby, it's another thing to be unable to disconnect from that hobby long enough to keep yourself alive.

      • by sosume (680416)

        Still just a symptom of another problem. Four decades ago, these people would have been watching TV all day and night and get into trouble because of that. In less developed parts of the world, where goods such as a house, electricity and a laptop, are harder to hold on to, these people would probably develop a into the religious zealot type. These persons just have less self control over their actions and then proceed to blame the symptoms for their own shortcomings. Like a fat person blaming McDonalds. Or

        • by murdocj (543661)

          It may be a symptom of another problem, but that doesn't mean that treating the symptom won't help.

    • So what is the problem? Some people will always be happy to find a time sink. If the internet didn't exist these 'addicts' would be eating, watching TV, gaming or taking illicit substances all day. So easy to blame the time sink when these problems are rooted much deeper.

      Addiction is real, and is generally diagnosed based on how it affects functioning. Does it interfere with work, family life, other obligations? It's not just what you do; it's how it affects your life. So you're right; they would probably choose something else were the Internet not available. That doesn't make the addiction any less real.

  • by Shoten (260439) on Monday September 02, 2013 @07:32AM (#44737817)

    This looks to me like the perfect business opportunity. Inpatient care is terribly expensive, putting this out of the reach of people who can't afford it because they've lost their jobs due to their addiction and no longer have benefits. Why not offer it online?

    I can think of many therapeutic activities that would help towards curing the impulse to spend all of one's time online:

    -Troll debating
    -Handling requests from the clients of graphics artists and webmasters
    -Collecting free iPads, iPhones and other electronics from all those sites that just give them away for free
    -Resolving arguments in online gaming chat sessions

    I can think of many more as well...the options are nearly endless! And this could all be done from the comfort of their own home...

  • by Alain Williams (2972) <addw@phcomp.co.uk> on Monday September 02, 2013 @07:32AM (#44737819) Homepage

    Perhaps largely populated by First Posters ?

    • Beat me to the punch. I like this place, but I notice a few users here every time I stop by. That's either one hell of a coincidence or those folks are here all the time.
      • by shuz (706678)

        Those folks should recognize the problem as soon as their friends clue them into how oblivious they are regarding daily news when it isn't posted on slashdot. They may not, and that is where the slashdot addiction ward can help(sponsored by reddit).

  • TV addiction? (Score:4, Informative)

    by KraxxxZ01 (2445360) on Monday September 02, 2013 @07:39AM (#44737843)
    How come there is no treatment for TV addiction? Is there a thing like TV addiction? Or feeding yourself 8 hours of programme a day is considered normal?
    Maybe there is but I'm not aware of it.
    • How come there is no treatment for TV addiction? ... Or feeding yourself 8 hours of programme a day is considered normal?

      From people I talk to, watching 3-4 hours a day is considered very normal. They eat dinner, load the dishwasher, then sit down and tune in until it's bed time. I don't understand where they get they get this time. It's not a matter, even, of if they are going to watch TV - they'll even watch it while complaining "there's not much on tonight that's very good".

      There are very good reason

    • by murdocj (543661)

      Well, maybe people don't watch so much TV that it interferes with the rest of their lives?

  • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Monday September 02, 2013 @07:43AM (#44737871)

    A 'digital detox' is when the patient is cut off from any Internet connection or computer use for 72 hours. For many, the thought of being disconnected from the Internet may feel like a vacation. But for those with the addiction, they can face withdrawals similar to those seen in people addicted to marijuana.

    For some of us, the thought of 72 hours without a book - or some written text in general - is equally frightening. Also, the authors are apparently confused by the distinction between online games and the Internet at large.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      addicted to marijuana?

    • I spend hours per day browsing internet. It seems like I am addicted to it. However when I travel overseas or do some hiking, I find absolutely zero withdrawal symptoms, even if I am offline for weeks at a time. The real addiction I have is not to the internet, but to brain stimulus. I hate boredom, and when I'm static, boredom sets in and makes me want to get online to get mentally stimulated. When I do some work around the house, talk to someone or travel, my brain is stimulated enough to not have a need
  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'll take an "internet addiction" diagnosis and treatment program seriously as soon as the Boomers concede that they have a crisis-level problem with consuming television.

  • Just don't expect insurance to cover your expenses. I love all these little "problems" the world invents - working so hard to absolve people of personal responsibility.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      Just don't expect insurance to cover your expenses. I love all these little "problems" the world invents - working so hard to absolve people of personal responsibility.

      TFA specifically says that insurance doesn't cover the program.

      More generally, is 'I am having trouble solving a problem, therefore I will seek expert advice and/or assistance' not 'personal responsibility' all of a sudden? I thought that problem triage and allocation of problem-solving capacity was an essential and foundational aspect of 'personal responsibility', with the question of whether or not to bring in consultants determined by the problem to be solved and its difficulty with respect to what yo

      • "therefore I will seek expert advice and/or assistance"

        Oh, my, no, not in the Puritan ethos. Matters of the mind are to be solved individually, and any admission of an inability to do so is a sign of weakness, and perhaps moral turpitude.

        • Ah, yes. Isn't it wonderful how neatly you can theology-launder old-school theories of concupiscence and failings of the soul by swapping in a few references to 'willpower'? I always forget how everyone has an immaterial 'will', that they are personally responsible for any defects of (how somebody with a defective will can will themselves to have a more willful will is always carefully elided; but apparently more willpower will do it...)
      • Missing the point. Do we need to create a "chip-a-holic" inpatient treatment program for those folks who are unable to only eat one serving of chips (which is around 7)? Sure, personal responsibility and problem silv
        • ....solving goes with personal responsibility. Let's just stop with all these labels and quit coming up with "psychological" excuses for personal failings. Internet addiction? Why don't we simply call it all "self control" before we have chip addictions, toilet addictions, cologne addictions and video game addictions - all covered under ObamaCare....
  • by Anonymous Coward

    if they haven't got WiFi, I am not going!

    • by PPH (736903)

      Aversion therapy: Its AOL dial-up.

      Pretty soon they'll have you twitching every time you hear acoustic modems handshaking.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Book reading - Fine
    Climbing mountains - Fine
    Watching TV - Fine
    Listening to radio - Fine
    Watching Fox and agreeing with the news - EVEN BETTER
    Internet where you can get crazy ideas about your government since there is less control- ADDICTION!

  • by ChronoFish (948067) on Monday September 02, 2013 @08:25AM (#44738117) Journal
    <EOM>
  • Soccer addiction, basketball addiction, golf addiction, any_sport addiction along with other addictions such as gardening, collecting stamps, book reading and whatever other activities can be considered as being fun, entertaining and thus "extremely" addictive.

    This the good old panacea that people were selling in dark bottles in the old days. Here buddy drink this and you'll re-grow your hair and your dick will be hard as a rock! Honest!
  • that will cure them pretty quick.
  • ". The program was organized by experts in the field and cognitive specialists with backgrounds in treating more familiar addictions like drug and alcohol abuse. "

    About 1 in 35 people who go through traditional addiction treatment centers remain abstinent for more than a year. With "experts" like that, who needs amateurs? BTW - What do they almost all try to drive home as the solution? "You've got to get yourself an imaginary friend!" (Of course they use the term "Higher Power", and don't have the audacit

  • If you don't have an internet profile especially a social network profile you're branded a sociopath loner. If your internet use is over some arbitrary limit you're an addict.

    "Addiction [wikipedia.org] is the continued use of a psychoactive drug, or the repetition of a behavior despite adverse consequences, or a neurological impairment leading to such behaviors.

    Definition of ADAPTATION [merriam-webster.com] 1 : the act or process of adapting : the state of being adapted 2 : adjustment to environmental conditions: as a : adjustment of a sense

  • A problematic application. I'd say Facebook is a big one. Biggest time suck out there.
    • Television addiction exists as much as internet addiction does and for a longer period of time. Television lowers your IQ and has more correlations to bad health but we don't dare call it an addiction.... that would upset too many people-- lets pick on the new less entrenched activities like video games and internet...

      I have no trouble with the unofficial stuff, that is just the beginning of the process to become official and is never a guarantee it completes the process. Even if it does, the procession is

      • by kilodelta (843627)
        Yes indeed - I know that too. I tend to be selective on the video I watch and some percentage of the time the TV is off anyway. If it is on it's either just a background noise or I have my RasPi up on it.
  • Too bad the article is just plain sloppy journalism, written from the company's press release. The first inpatient Internet addiction treatment program opened up back in 2008:

    http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/09/08/treating-internet-addiction-is-new/ [psychcentral.com]

    And in 2009, another inpatient treatment center also claimed to be 'the first' inpatient treatment program... for a disorder that doesn't even officially exist!

    Ah, it's Fox News... Nevermind.

    --
    Psych Central
    http://psychcentral.com/ [psychcentral.com]

  • Take these inmates and make them smoke crack several times a day for two weeks. Upon release they will never spend a moment on their computers again. They will spend their lives rushing about seeking crack, getting high, coming down and then crashing until the cravings hit again. Compared to crack internet addiction is nothing at all. Crack can take care of numerous problems. Crack will get the wife and kids out of your life. Crack will get you out of your job permanently. Crack will take care of yo

  • Addiction is an interesting word because it can describe anything from a strong habit to a chemical imbalance.
    I don't know what this one is. Any tendencies I've experienced in the past were tilting toward really bad habits... even if it was spending long stretches of my spare time in lieu of food or sleep.

    I also read and want to believe that most habits can be broken or set in 21 days of doing a different pattern.
    It concerns me a little about the success of an inpatient program on something like this. So

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