Aug 21, 2009 | 5
You've noticed them—people who truly cannot detach psychologically and behaviorally from the worlds of online gaming or social networking. Or perhaps you are one of these people. In any case, these compulsive types now have a way out; the first Internet addiction detox center in the U.S. has opened in Fall City, Wash., just a few miles from Microsoft's headquarters in Redmond.
For $14,500—WiFi not included—an addict can spend 45 Internet-abstinent days at the Heavensfield Retreat Center and, hopefully, emerge into the real world free of an obsession with Facebook, online gambling or even text messaging. (A stay at Heavensfield is not covered by insurance, but some scholarships are available.)
The retreat's founders think that Internet addiction is a serious problem, affecting between 6 and 10 percent of the online population. But how do you know if you are an addict? A list of 12 "signs and symptoms" appears on the new reStart Internet Addiction Recovery Program's Web page—from a "heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and Internet activities" to "being dishonest with others" and "physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, [and] carpal tunnel syndrome." According to the site, three or four "yes" responses suggests possible abuse; five or more point to addiction.
Apr 20, 2009 | 16
Are video games as addictive and damaging to children as gambling is to adults? In a word—yes, according to a new study of nearly 1,200 children aged eight to 18 in the U.S.
This is the first study, according to study lead author Douglas Gentile, a director of research for the Minneapolis-based National Institute on Media and the Family, to quantify ways in which gaming may damage kids' ability to function socially. Gentile, an assistant psychology professor at Iowa State University, analyzed data collected in a January 2007 Harris Poll survey and compared respondents' video game play habits to the symptoms established in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders for pathological gambling.
Aug 29, 2008 | 14
Actor David Duchovny, best known for his role as Fox Mulder on the FOX TV series The X-Files and its related movies, checked himself into a rehab facility for sex addiction, according to news reports and a statement released by his lawyer yesterday.
Duchovny, 48, is married to actress Tea Leoni; they have two children. He is currently starring in the Showtime series Californication. In it, he plays a curmudgeonly writer named Hank Moody with self-destructive tendencies—among them a lecherous lifestyle.
In 2000, ScientificAmerican.com's own Ivan Oransky wrote a story about sex addiction—which is still not officially recognized by the American Psychiatric Association—for Rx.magazine. In the piece, John Sealy, a Torrance, Calf.-based psychiatrist calls the condition that has been said to plague 8 percent of men and 3 percent of women as "a pathological relationship with a mood-altering experience with associated denial of escalating adverse consequences and/or loss of control." (Well, that clears it up.)
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