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Posted on Mar 25, 2008
text messaging

Text messaging under fire:  Legitimate problem—or flagrant play for a new entry in the ol’ DSM? 

There’s a new kind of addiction out there, to which many of us are currently vulnerable, and from which some of us may be suffering right this moment: According to one Dr. Jerald Block, writing in the American Journal of Psychiatry, excessive e-mailing and text messaging could be a form of mental illness.

The article, by Dr Jerald Block, said there were four symptoms: suffering from feelings of withdrawal when a computer cannot be accessed; an increased need for better equipment; need for more time to use it; and experiencing the negative repercussions of their addiction.

Dr Block said that although text messaging was not directly linked to the Internet, it was a form of instant messaging and needed to be included among the criteria.

“The chief reasons I see to consider it are motor vehicle accidents that are caused by cell phone instant messaging, stalking and harassment via instant messaging, and instant messaging at social, educational, (and) work functions where it creates problems,” he said.

“It should be a pervasive and problematic pattern, though, not isolated incidents.”

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By cyrena, March 25, 2008 at 6:17 pm Link to this comment

Great post as usual Aegrus, especially the last paragraph.

I also agree with muscle boy on his comments. Doesn’t the psych community of experts have more to concern themselves with than the Internet behaviors of citizens, when they can’t or won’t even denounce the use of psychological torture by their members/professionals.

Now if that isn’t as heinous a double-standard there is, I don’t know of another one.

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By Muscleboy, March 25, 2008 at 4:44 pm Link to this comment

I’m having very severe psychological distress over the fact that the American Psychological Association is backing use of it’s members by the hyper-insane Bush administration in it’s torture facilities to aid in the process of torturing people.

I think the only therapy that would work to help me is for everyone to boycott APA members at least until the APA reverses it’s decision and actually condemns the use of torture and most certainly the participation of it’s members.

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By Aegrus, March 25, 2008 at 11:06 am Link to this comment

Yes, let us all be aware. Pseudo-psychiatrists will write books on anything to get you into their office and on medication. Feel guilty for sending that extra e-mail or spending half an hour text messaging friends.

It’s kind of strange how liberal/progressive communities can express skepticism about technology with the ease of social conservatives. There is a general ‘get back to basics’ and distrust of corporate power, but I don’t see how these valid lifestyle choices should spill over into technology usage.

It’s like smoking, drinking or recreational drug use. Educate people on your principals, and leave the decision making up to the individual. Don’t be blinded to the double-standard of outrage at social conservatism for invading our bedrooms if you feel guilty or anger towards people who don’t live an ‘organic’ lifestyle.

Please promote diversity and empower individual Americans to think and make choices instead of becoming that which has caused us so much anguish.

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