Internet addiction isn't officially recognized as a disorder yet, but it's a "condition for further study" according to the The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the "bible" of psychiatric symptoms in the mental-health industry. One psychiatric hospital in Pennsylvania is taking it seriously already: Bradford Regional Medical Center is set to become the country's first to offer an inpatient treatment program for people with severe Internet addiction. It's just like Einstein always said: the definition of insanity is clicking the refresh button over and over again and expecting new content to just be there.
The voluntary, 10-day inpatient program is set to open on September 9th at the Behavioral Health Services at Bradford Regional Medical Center. "[Internet addiction] is a problem in this country that can be more pervasive than alcoholism," Dr. Kimberly Young, the psychologist who founded the non-profit program, told Fox. "The Internet is free, legal and fat free."
They'll only have four adult patient there at a time who will undergo group therapy and various psychological examinations. That includes a "digital detox," when the patients are cut off from any Internet connection or computer use for 72 hours. Young made it clear that there are a lot of people who wouldn't qualify for the program: just because you can't stop looking at animal photos on Reddit doesn't mean you've got a problem (or at least, not that kind of problem).
If you're wondering whether you might qualify as an internet addict, go ahead and take the Internet Addiction Test, which includes questions such as "How often do you block out disturbing thoughts about your life with soothing thoughts of the Internet?" and "How often do you fear that life without the Internet would be boring, empty, and joyless?" And be grateful we don't have "fasting camps" to combat internet addiction.