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Technology Addiction Considered a Mental Illness

Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Are you spending too much time on the web?  Suffering blackberry burnout or iPhone fatigue?  Well, doctors say you may have a real psychological problem.  That's why they're adding Internet addiction to their list of treatable mental illnesses.  
 
Author and Stanford Psychologist Kelly McGonigle wrote the Willpower Instinct, and says Internet addiction is a debilitating problem, destroying relationships and threatening job security. “It's amazing,” she says, “how many people sleep with their phones and in the middle of the night check to see what's going on.”
 
She suggests anyone spending too much time online or playing Angry Birds get help.  
 
Psychologists say some gamers have literally exhausted themselves to death playing videogames. McGonigle says computer addiction is isolating because, “People are feeling lonelier the more the time they spend on these technologies. They're feeling more distracted; it's possible the technologies are increasing depression.”
 
And it's not just gaming.  Psychologists are reporting many adults are spending more time friending Facebook acquaintances than seeing actual friends face to face.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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