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.”