Clinic to deal with Internet addiction

Clinic to deal with Internet addiction

ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Clinic to deal with Internet addiction

Psychiatrists Ömer Şenormancı (L) says Internet addiction is a problem. DAILY NEWS photo

A state hospital in Istanbul has launched a new clinic to treat internet addiction, a fairly new concept for Turkey.

Psychiatrists Ömer Şenormancı and Ramazan Konkan lead the efforts at the Bakırköy Psychiatric Hospital to help the victims of a modern-age problem.

“The society is not aware of the problem yet,” Şenormancı said, adding that not every person spending hours surfing the Internet should be diagnosed as an Internet addict.

“However, if the use of the Internet starts to interrupt your daily routine, it is an illness,” he warned.
The Internet addiction disorder was first defined in 1995 by New York psychiatrist Ivan Goldberg who joked about his own fascination with the Internet and news about this new disorder spread around quickly. Although the existence of Internet addiction is debated among experts, it is a major problem for many people, said Şenormancı.

“There are people who forgot their toilet needs when online,” he said , adding that people sometimes lay down their job, families could forget their responsibilities and they could even forget their own nutrition due to Internet overuse.

Some researches say spending 14 hours a day surfing the Internet is a sign of the disorder, but Şenormancı disagrees. He recalled people whose work is with computers and students who study and added that “Internet is a dangerous thing only when it captures you.”

The way to treat Internet addicts is both pills and therapies, Şenormancı said, adding that the treatment is dependent on the underlying reason of the addiction and patient’s level of the problem.
“People who surf the Internet for gambling could go on gambling without going online, that is why we start treatment after understanding the real reason behind the addiction” he said.

Şenormancı warned that the people who cannot control their Internet use may not also be aware of their problem and the patients, most of whom are young people, go to the clinic usually after the complaints of their parent or relatives.

A lot of clinics which look after internet addictives have opened around the world along with South Korea which has 400 clinics with beds. There have been some polyclinics in Turkey too but the one at Bakırköy Hospital is the first one to serve at a research hospital.