As psychiatrists start to organize the next edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, a debate has started on whether to include Internet addiction among our newest afflictions.
While the American Psychiatric Association has yet to recognize the preoccupation as a separate disorder, mental health professionals usually treat it under the broader umbrella of impulse control disorders.
The emerging notion of “Internet addiction” remains controversial. The term has yet to be recognized by the American Psychiatric Association as a disorder and is not listed in the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). But some experts have lobbied for its inclusion in the manual’s upcoming revision, due out in 2012.
2012 is when the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is expected to be published. If previous revisions are anything to go by, then many more people will fall within the parameters required for a diagnosis of mental disorder.