For many Americans, the internet has the potential to become an addiction that wreaks havoc at home, work, school, and in real-life relationships. There is both promise and peril in cyberspace (e.g., an increasing number of couples seeking marriage counseling from Greenfield were suffering from cyberspace-related problems). Provides strategies to help users maintain a balanced life, both on-line and off. ( Greenfield, David N., PhD. Virtual Addiction: Help for Netheads, Cyberfreaks, and Those Who Love Them. CA:New Harbinger Publications, 1999.) According to Dr. Orzack, a licensed clinical psychologist, founder and coordinator of McLean Hospital’s Computer Addiction Service and a member of the Harvard Medical school faculty, psychological and physical symptoms associated with addiction to computer / internet / video games may include the following:

  • Psychological Symptoms
    • Having a sense of well-being or euphoria while at the computer
    • Inability to stop the activity
    • Craving more and more time at the computer
    • Neglect of family and friends
    • Feeling empty, depressed, irritable when not at the computer
    • Lying to employers and family about activities
    • Problems with school or job
  • Physical Symptoms
    • Carpal tunnel syndrome
    • Dry eyes
    • Migraine headaches
    • Backaches
    • Eating irregularities, such as skipping meals
    • Failure to attend to personal hygiene
    • Sleep disturbances, change in sleep pattern

(Orzack, Maressa Hecht, PhD)