Somehow I knew it was gonna come to this. A hospital in Pennsylvania has opened the country’s first inpatient treatment program for people who have an addiction to the Internet according to a news release by “Fox News,” who also suffers from its own addiction. Which is writing stories about people addicted to the Internet.
So, I was kinda curious as to exactly what being addicted to the Internet encompassed. I mean, is it constantly being on the Internet 24/7/365 or a more subtle addiction, like sleeping with your computer instead of your spouse.
Well, in one documented case, ten years ago, Kevin Roberts, (no relation to Julia or Mr.) would sit eight to 12 hours a day in front of his computer playing a video game. During holidays, he “binged” spending nearly all of his waking hours at his keyboard. Then a friend who had been through “Alcoholics Anonymous” told him that he displayed all the same characteristics of an addict.
Of course, as in every traumatic event that occurs in everyone’s life, Kevin wrote a book about his addiction. Hey! Doesn’t EVERYBODY!
His book is entitled, “How I Got My Woody Caught In My Keyboard and Now Have To Type With 11 Fingers.”
No…not really….it’s entitled, “Cyber Junkie: Escape The Gaming and Internet Trap.” Which, when ya think about it all, “Internet Addiction,” it could very well have been equated to a spider with a more clever title like, “How I Got Addicted To The Web With No Spiders Involved.” Kinda catchy don’t ya think?
So a psychiatric hospital in Pennsylvania is now set up to be the country’s first facility of its kind to offer an inpatient treatment program for people it diagnoses with severe Internet addiction.
Hmmmm. So how do you actually tell if you are addicted to the Internet? Do you have all kinds of “Intel” tattoos, USB earrings hanging from your ears, a WiFi adapter connected to your private parts and one to your spouse, (remote sex from another room) and worse, have you officially changed your name from Ralph to Hewlett Packard?
According to Dr. Kimberly Young, (no relation to Neil, Loretta or Robert) the psychologist who founded the non-profit program, says that “Internet addiction can be more pervasive than alcoholism.” Why you ask. Well she put it this way, “The Internet is free, legal and fat-free.”
Meaning no bucks spent, you’re not gonna get busted for using it, (excluding going on porno sites which the Feds get all bent outta shape about) and you won’t gain any weight using it.
Getting back to the addiction part. Here are the symptoms if you’re worried you may be an addict. First of all, the medical director of the department of psychiatry at Bradford Regional, which I assume is also in Pennsylvania, says that most people with a severe Internet addiction have some type of undiagnosed psychiatric disorder or personality problem.
There was no mention as to if having a split personality was one of those disorders. But, I would venture a guess that if your other personality spends as much time on the Internet as you do, Houston, you’ve got a problem.
The doc calls getting you unaddicted to the Internet as, “digital detox.”
Geez….wonder if you get the DT’s or heebie jeebies being weened off of the Internet? Also wonder if they play Little Richard’s record of “Heebie Jeebies” just to help you. HEY! If you’re gonna be flopping all over the hospital floor suffering from Internet withdrawal symptoms might as well make it a bit more entertaining for those shrinks.
By the way, digital detox is when a patient is cut off from any Internet connection use or computer use for 72 hours. OMG!!!! 72 FREAKIN’ HOURS!!!! SHOOT ME NOW DOC!!! PULEEEEESE!!!
This of course, my own personal thought coming from a guy who spends 4 hours a day, 7 days a week writing this stupid blog. (looking for hospital application form)
Actually, I’m not as bad as one of their patients that they served up as an example of having a severe Internet addiction. Dr. Young said that one of her outpatients resorted to chewing Styrofoam cups and punched walls during his detox.
Cripes…..now I know why Jack Nicholson was such a nutcase in “The Shining” and “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.” Had they given him a damn computer he would have been normal.
Asian men in particular have the worse addiction to the Internet when they become engrossed in Internet games and “certain pathways” in their brains are triggered in the same direct and intense way that a drug addict’s brain is affected by the substance.
Which basically means that if you’re ever in an Asian country and some guy steps out of a dark alley offering you a great deal on a computer loaded with all sorts of neat games…..run! Otherwise you’re gonna wind up in some institution in a jacket with no arms and possibly running into other guys that resemble Jack Nicholson.
Yet another doctor, Allen Frances, the chairman of the DSM-IV and professor emeritus at Duke University, (no relation to the Bush Beans dog “Duke”) says that Internet addiction research is a bit premature. “Where do you draw the line at addiction and recreational use?”
Hmmm. I’d say when your eyeballs are bright red, your drooling all over yourself, and have naked photos of Bill Gates plastered all over your bedroom walls.
He went on to say, “If we can be addicted to gambling and the Internet, why not also include addictions to shopping, exercise, sex, work, golf, sunbathing, model railroading, you name it. All passionate interests are at risk for redefinition as mental disorders”.
And he may be right on the nail there folks.
But, I’m a bit worried about my other half having another type of addiction. Only because of what that doc said about other addictions. I seriously think SHE has a shoe addiction. Honest!
I counted 98 pairs of shoes stashed in shoe boxes in her closet and observed her the other day in J. C. Penny’s STILL shopping for shoes. And when I mentioned that she had enough shoes….she became violent, punching walls and chewing on a styrofoam mannequin’s arm.
HEY DOC! Where the hell is your freakin research on that?
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