|An Israeli psychiatrist has recommended that Internet addiction be grouped with other extreme addictive disorders such as gambling, sex addiction and kleptomania.|
Dr Pinhas Dannon of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine said ten percent of Internet surfers are afflicted with an ‘Internet addiction disorder’, which can lead to anxiety and severe depression.
'Internet addiction is not manifesting itself as an ‘urge’,” said Dannon.
“It’s more than that. It’s a deep ‘craving’ and if we don’t make the change in the way we classify Internet addiction we won’t be able to treat it in the proper way.'
Mental health professionals currently classify Internet addiction as an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), a mild to severe mental health condition that results in an urge to engage in ritualistic thoughts and behaviour. Dannon said that the two groups at the greatest risk of suffering from an Internet addiction disorder are teenagers and people in their mid ‘50s suffering from loneliness.
This news follows the prosecution against British businessman Michael Carlton, Chief Executive Officer of Victor Chandler, in Israel on suspicion of illegally running gambling operations in the nation and sports betting involving events with Israeli teams.
The nation’s Superior Court ruled in June that any company operating a gambling website targeting Israelis is breaking the law no matter if the site is run from abroad or if the company is registered outside Israel.