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10/5/10

Internet addiction: A New Category of Mental Disorder


The next volume of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the psychology bible, will include a new category that addresses people addicted to the internet without even knowing it. "Internet addiction sounds like a punch line. But it ruined my brother's life. . . . [He] sleeps in a roomy tent, atop three mattresses he's acquired from one place or another, between a set of railroad tracks and Oregon State Highway 99, in a clearing ringed by blackberry bushes. He lives most days the same way. He gets up when he feels like it, walks to the local grocery outlet, and uses food stamps to buy a microwaveable meal. Then he treks over to the local soup kitchen and enjoys a free lunch, answering the greetings of his other homeless pals, who speak to me highly of the obese, bearded man they call 'Ace.'

When the rest of his buddies head off to the park to suck down malt liquor or puff weed, Andrew eyes a different fix at the Oregon State University computer lab, which is open to the public. He'll spend the next 10 hours or so there, eyes focused on a computer screen, pausing only to heat up that microwaved meal." More

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