Is There Really Such A Thing As Internet Addiction?

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Andrew_Doan
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Is There Really Such A Thing As Internet Addiction?

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

May Light
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Thank you for sharing

Thank you for sharing Andy.

I really like the way you put it: " potency of internet usage"... Gaming being a high potency...

I was wondering for a long time about the shopping sites and various forums. What would be their potency?

Web sites like ebay, Ali Express etc offer deals regularly, give out coupons if you get engaged in a few minutes of some sort of 'catching the gift wrapped boxes' type of activities. They make you regularly check the deals and try to get the coupons. Also certain times of the year they have huge sales on etc. In other words they do everything they can to get you hooked so that you regularly look at these sites. My son hasn't been playing any on line games for over a year and no single player games for over 6 months but he seems to be spending a few hours a day checking these sites and the forums on various topics; sports, exercise, finance etc and the funny you tube videos. I am really concerned that his brain's recovery might be slowing down as a result of this. He still can't concentrate long enough to read a book which affects his performance. He procrastinates a lot when it comes to reading or doing a written or research based task. I wonder whether it is because he can be classified as an internet addict now. He seems to be wasting at least 3-4 hours a day on these sites (some days less but some days even more).

I appreciate if anyone has these issues and share their experience.

Also any feedback on this is much appreciated.

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

May Light
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Thank you for sharing

Thank you for sharing Andy.

I really like the way you put it: " potency of internet usage"... Gaming being a high potency...

I was wondering for a long time about the shopping sites and various forums. What would be their potency?

Web sites like ebay, Ali Express etc offer deals regularly, give out coupons if you get engaged in a few minutes of some sort of 'catching the gift wrapped boxes' type of activities. They make you regularly check the deals and try to get the coupons. Also certain times of the year they have huge sales on etc. In other words they do everything they can to get you hooked so that you regularly look at these sites. My son hasn't been playing any on line games for over a year and no single player games for over 6 months but he seems to be spending a few hours a day checking these sites and the forums on various topics; sports, exercise, finance etc and the funny you tube videos. I am really concerned that his brain's recovery might be slowing down as a result of this. He still can't concentrate long enough to read a book which affects his performance. He procrastinates a lot when it comes to reading or doing a written or research based task. I wonder whether it is because he can be classified as an internet addict now. He seems to be wasting at least 3-4 hours a day on these sites (some days less but some days even more).

I appreciate if anyone has these issues and share their experience.

Also any feedback on this is much appreciated.

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

Andrew_Doan
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May Light... I think

May Light... I think Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) and Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) fall on a spectrum. More research is definitely needed to fully understand this.

IAD includes shopping sites and news sites, which are likely on the 2-4 (out of 10) in digital potency scale. IAD also includes pornography, which is like a digital potency of 10. A colleague mentioned old research (I can't find it) where men could tolerate ice water much longer when watching porn. Porn induces neuroendocrine release of brain dopamine and physiological adrenalin, cortisol, testosterone and many, many other neuro-hormones. I plan to test this in the laboratory by utilizing sexually explicit video games instead of outright porn, as I think it would be easier to pass the IRB review when "video games" are mentioned rather than outright porn.

Video games also have digital potencies. Keep in mind that the digital potency will differ from person to person. This is similar to how prescription medications vary in their efficacy from patient to patient. Some patients require higher dosages than others. Interestingly, when alcoholics have surgery, more anesthetic is commonly required during surgery. Similarly, I think people who play a lot of video games require more stimuli to induce release of brain dopamine and physiological neuro-hormones. This could explain why gaming addicts are bored with life, bored with school, bored with work, bored with people... for their body and mind have been flooded with dopamine and neuro-hormones. This is likely why it takes unplugging from video games for 30+ days before the gaming addict can even think clearly.

Recovering gaming addicts should really avoid all things that are like "digital candy" on the Internet and try to focus on the "digital veggies" for work and school.

More research is needed in this area, and this is where I am trying to push the field forward. I have several case reports written and in various stages of publication. We also have several large research protocols being written now. Stay tuned!!!

Additionally, for people who doubt that video games are similar to "prescription pain killers" and have associated "digital potencies." Consider the following. Video games are used for pain management in painful medical procedures. While burn victims play a video game called "Snow World", nurses are able to scrub and treat burns in pediatric and adult patients. (1) So if video games clinically reduce pain perception, similar to narcotics, then they are likely acting on the mind and body like a digital pain killer; thus, there will be people who will overuse and abuse video games, similar to people who overuse and abuse prescription pain killers. Clearly, additional research is needed in this area, which has incredible medical applications. But if these games are like digital pain killers, then Korean law makers are not completely off-base to label game addiction as strong as drug addiction. (excerpt from http://www.hooked-on-games.com/blog/view-articles-in-a-list/113-why-global-game-makers-oppose-gaming-addiction-bill.html)

(1) NPR. Virtual Penguins A Prescription for Pain? Feb 12, 2012. Accessed online Nov 05, 2014. http://www.npr.org/2012/02/12/146775049/virtual-penguins-a-prescription-for-pain

Andrew Doan MD PhD

My Videos: Internet gaming disorder is real & my story 

*The views expressed are of the author's and do not necessarily reflect the official policy of the U.S. Navy or Department of Defense.

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Thank you Andy! There is

Thank you Andy! There is still so much to learn about this emerging problem, isn't there.

I am looking forward to reading the research results as they become available. Please keep us posted.

"The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past. You can't go on well in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches." "The first step toward change is acceptance." "Once you accept yourself, you open the door to change. That's all you have to do." "Change is not something you do, it's something you allow."- Will Garcia

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