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Addiction to internet 'is an illness'

Link: Addiction to internet 'is an illness' | Technology | The Observer.

Are scholars addicted to their libraries? Artists to their brushes? Writers to their pens? Of course not. Show me a successful person, and I will show you someone Dr Jerald Block would consider "obsessive". The world is shaped by such people, with the "balanced" - largely idle - masses passively accepting the benefits. Without such "obsessives", Dr Block would be practising his dark art in a cave.

Characterising behaviours as "addiction" is a dangerous thing to do. It infantilises people by portraying their free choices as illnesses. It excuses those who wish to modify others' behaviours by portraying their tyrannical impulse as compassion. Often it seems that psychiatrists are the natural medical allies of political authoriarians. As Dr Crippen recently reminded us, it was only in 1954 that the American Psychiatric Association stopped characterising homosexuality as a mental disorder. And the psychiatrists of the Soviet Union did not notably dignify their calling either.

Personally I think any young person who wants to practise psychiatry should consider therapy.

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