‘Behavioral Addiction’ Weasels Its Way Into The DSM

The flood gates have been opened for listing ‘behavioral addictions’ among the hundreds of “mental disorders” in the upcoming revision of the DSM. Last I heard, of ‘behavioral addictions’, gambling addiction was slated for inclusion in the body of the DSM-V while hypersexuality (sexual addiction) and ‘internet addiction’ may make the appendixes.

We know gambling destroys lives. Calling it an addiction though is a sleight of hand if not a stretch of the imagination. The biggest casino in this country is called Wall Street. The owners of this casino made a killing recently known as the great recession and housing crisis of the early 2000s. I don’t think most of the gamblers who lost out in that crisis are ever going to receive proper “treatment”.

Just think–if psychiatrists had discovered behavioral addictions in the 1950s, maybe they could have nipped that evil rock and roll in the bud by calling it an addiction.

Television might have made a good addiction, too, if the lineup wasn’t so bad that the internet wins by default. The wasteland that commercial television has become makes television viewing too painful for any serious addictions to develop.

There are other possibilities, just think, foosball addiction, lollipop addiction, what have you addiction, pie in the sky addiction, telephone addiction, gizmo addiction, cupie doll addiction, etc. The unlimited nature of the range of possible future ‘addictions’ can be staggering to behold! You have to wonder why they are thinking of calling obesity a disease when you’ve got the ever handy ‘food addiction’.

The most ridiculous of these recently established addictions, ‘internet addiction’, recently made it’s way into the Calgary Herald with the headline asking, How many teens have ‘Internet addiction?’

‘Internet addiction’ is pretty prevalent it seems…

One in every 25 teens had “problematic Internet use” in a new study of high school students from Connecticut.

Unfortunately, nobody is suggesting we outlaw internet use among minors. They’d never get through school if we did that, now would they?

Apparently we have another kiddy disease like Oppositional Defiant Disorder, Conduct Disorder and, once upon a time, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. I say ‘once upon a time’ because the drug companies are expanding their markets to include the adult market for drugs (i.e. speed) used in the treatment of ADHD. ADHD has finally come of age in the form of its “adult” variant.

Students who were problematic Internet users according to the survey also tended to be more depressed and would get into serious fights more often. And boys in that category had higher rates of smoking and drug use.

Bad obsessive internet user children versus good more moderate internet user children. It goes with the flask in the pocket I guess. One thing, heavy internet users didn’t do any worse on school work, and so their internet use must be paying off.

“When you start using (the computer) 30 hours a week, it becomes a container for emotion,” he [Oregon psychiatrist Dr. Jerald Block] said. “It occupies time. The computer itself becomes a significant other, becomes a relationship.”

The problem with too much time on the internet is that often that seems to mean that something vital must be missing. Surely you’ve heard the expression, “Get a life!” There’s a reason why that expression isn’t, “Get a virtual life!” Be careful though, you wouldn’t want to develop hypersexuality while you’re at it, would you?

Alright, maybe you would.

Let me go on to say that these behavioral addictions are not a total loss. I envision a day when Psychiatric Treatment Addiction will be included in the DSM. Once that day arrives, maybe we will have found an answer to the current “mental illness” craze that is sweeping this nation and swamping its responsible citizenry. Rather than encouraging people to seek treatment, maybe we should be encouraging those that are in treatment to seek treatment for their treatment addiction. There’s all too much of that treatment addiction, in my humble opinion, in the world today.

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