Psychiatrist Philip Tam believes internet addiction should be classified as a disorder. The Sydney, Australia based psychiatrist and some Australian parents think that internet addiction and online game addiction need to be officially classified as addictions so that children can be treated for the so-called disorders. A News.com Australia report claims that "distressed parents" are "flooding psychiatrists" with pleas for help with their children who are addicted to being online.
The report claims that international mental health experts are considering including "video game addiction and internet addiction" in the next edition of globally recognized Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders "to encourage further study". The exact term they are using is "pathological internet misuse."
A Sydney mother tells News.com Australia that her 13-year-old son was is so addicted to computer games that he has skipped school over the past two years and often "violently resisted" attempts to stop him from playing his favorite MMO, World of Warcraft.
"He starts punching holes through the walls, throwing things around and threatening you ... all this has to do with the most addictive game, World of Warcraft," the unnamed parent said.
The report also claims that parents have complained of children as "young as 10" often found sleeping at the computer - up much of the night playing video games such as Minecraft.
Although the report only cites two health professionals, it claims that a majority of Australian mental health specialists believe formal recognition of internet addiction will put pressure on governments to make more treatment options available.
" ... such conditions are complex in nature and often overlap with common mental health disorders," he said.
Jocelyn Brewer, a member of Philip Tam's "expert group," said girls also could "become obsessed with Facebook". She adds that there is a "massive divide (between teachers and parents) in expertise about kids' use of technology."