More research needs to be done on Internet addiction to better understand how it develops and how to treat it, says the director of a new addiction institute at the University of Montreal.
Louise Nadeau noted that there's plenty of data on compulsive gambling and alcoholism, but virtually no reliable study or clinical data on Internet addiction, United Press International reported.
"The problem isn't widespread, but we know of serious cases in which teenagers don't leave the house, don't have interpersonal relationships, and have been isolated in front of their computer screen for the past two or three years, and only speak in the language of the characters they play with in network video games," Nadeau said in a university news release.
In a few years we'll have couples in therapy because the Internet will have become their main occupation," she predicted, UPI reported.
A Quebec survey found that hundreds of patients have consulted a professional about Internet addiction. Nadeau and fellow researchers want to develop a clinical definition of Internet addiction, determine how the disorder evolves, and identify treatment strategies. – (HealthDay News, September 2008)
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