While you’re surfing the Internet, minutes can turn into hours at the drop of a dime. Once you manage to pry yourself from your computer, there’s the internet on your mobile device. You’re out with your friends instagramming, facebooking, tweeting, and bumping into people as you’re walking down the street browsing a website or texting. Could Internet addiction be a real thing? There’s a hospital that thinks so and want to help people overcome their dependency.
Starting Sept. 9, the Behavioral Health Services at Bradford Regional Medical Center located in Central Pennsylvania will attempt to help people with Internet addiction. Their 10-day session, created by addiction experts, will allow patients to detox from their internet dependency.
“[Internet addiction] is a problem in this country that can be more pervasive than alcoholism,” the psychologist who founded this new non-profit program, Dr. Kimberly Young, said via the study. “The Internet is free, legal and fat free.”
Dr. Young defined Internet addiction by the consequences of Internet overuse rather than the number of hours spent online. She said there was a difference between people who depended on modern technology but could balance their online life with their offline life, and people whose obsession prevented them from functioning normally.
Young said typical Internet addicts were young, male and highly intelligent. They often struggle socially and have from low-self esteem, she said. The majority are obsessed with such games as “World of Warcraft,” not social media or pornography.
“They go online because they can become someone else and be admired for their skills,” she said.
The goal of the program is to allow patients to get back on the Internet but in a healthy way, Young explained. Computer use is so essential to modern life, Young doesn’t believe it’s practical for someone to stay completely offline.
So how much does a program like this cost?
Only a measly $14,000. Unfortunately Internet addiction isn’t recognized as a mental health disorder and treatment is covered by insurance.
For $4,000 I’ll come to your house, smash your laptops and destroy your cell phone. That’s at least a $10,000 discount.