Experts advise on therapeutic possibilities

Internet: Illness in the gray zone
So far, there are no fixed pension structures for media addicts in Europe. On-line search is not a recognized addiction. The affected patients are treated in the gray zone of the therapeutic possibilities. And this, although the number of addicts is getting bigger and bigger. On Tuesday advise experts on the subject.

In the profession, the Internet is used, for the private exchange, for contact management, for playing. Hardly a household that does not have an Internet access: Approximately 550,000 young people are involved in virtual fetters. These 14- to 64-year-olds are internally addicted. This is apparent from the first representative study of internet research (PINTA study). In addition, there are about 1.4 million young users who are addicted to addiction. The online computer game search for information of the most frequent form of Internet dependency. Other types are the dependence on cybersex and virtual social networks.

70 per cent surf more than an hour every day
Online games, shopping, social networking, and surfing with the laptop, mobile phone or tablet computer - many things are moving into the net and access to this world is carried by almost everyone mobile. A Forsa survey commissioned by among 1000 pupils revealed that 99 percent of the 14 to 20-year-olds use the Internet, 95 percent have their own mobile phone. 70 per cent of them surfs for more than an hour every day.

Some of them are threatening to enter the virtual world. They can hardly delimit their reality against the virtual temptation. The net catches them and spins them so that they cannot separate from it for many hours. Young people are particularly vulnerable. They neglect hobbies, friends or sport. The food moves into the background and even the nightly sleep is interrupted as a recovery phase to go online again.

"Recent studies show that media-dependent people are not only psychologically, but also physically impaired, because of lack of nutrition, lack of exercise or vitamin D deficiency, lack of sunlight, the media addicts are usually in a comparatively bad general condition Sleep and thus a shifted sleep-wake rhythm, resulting in concentration problems and a drop in performance at school or at work, "it is said, describing the problem. He is a senior physician at the Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital and is chairman of the media association.

There can be problems and setbacks in professional or private life, which lead to young people fleeing into the unreal parallel world. Working, school and also the contact with one's family are more and more in the background. "In the media world, they are looking for recognition, romance, camaraderie, or they live their aggression there".

You know more, but still too little
In early research, psychiatrists and psychotherapists assumed that this disturbance pattern in the adult age automatically relativized itself. Today, however, it is known that it is not so. "A current survey shows that the average age of the patients is clearly above the age of the child," explains the addiction specialist. Worse still, the brain is so malleable in the youth age that the acquired properties and the resulting damage are still a long-lasting effect. "They can no longer be walked away so easily," explains the psychiatrist.

But those who need help is tormented by another problem: Internet dependency has not yet been recognized by the World Health Organization as a behavioral desire. This is different in the case of gambling, for it is considered an independent mental illness. According to the isolated diagnosis "Online search" the health insurance companies should not pay the treatment.

In practice, however, specialists and the funds in the absence of an international recognition for media attention go the matter differently. "If an impulse control disorder or a psychological basic illness is diagnosed, this can be treated from the point of view of the health insurance companies and is also paid, spokeswoman for the leading association of the statutory health insurance. The technician's health insurance also confirms: "Most physicians, along with the on-line search, will also diagnose behavioral problems," explains spokesman.

According to the Department of Dependency Diseases of the LVR Clinic, the situation about on - line search as a disease is such that "some scientists assume that media dependency is not an independent disorder but a symptom or a companion of other existing mental illnesses, Example of depression.
Official diagnosis criteria are not yet available. "There has been an outpatient clinic for media dependency since January 2009. In the Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, a special ambulance for media searches has recently been opened.

The number of internet patients is increasing - therapy options are missing
Addiction outpatient clinics and specialists complain about the fact that the online and game search is not recognized as behavioral. After all, specialists have long been interested in the fact that the number of Internet users will increase. This makes it necessary to adjust to more extensive research, treatment, and diagnostics, he warns.

According to the Association of Media Discrimination, the following is currently available for the consultation and treatment: "Without the diagnosis, no costs are taken up, and affected persons and their relatives are always experiencing a run of spies through various institutions until they receive help Advice and treatment." It is only thanks to the will of the health insurance funds and top associations that a solution can be found for the victims in spite of the legal horrors.

This does not seem to be heard by the game makers: events of the Federal Center for Health Education or the computer game fairs are perceived only at the margins. This is from the sale of new games, updates, and extensions and not about possible addiction potential.

Hoping for a political advance
The researcher will focus on the subject of media research, as well as on the meeting of an expert group of the Association for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Neurology. Experts from addiction research, psychology, and addiction psychology meet in order to adopt, among other things, a textbook, which serves as the political basis for bringing international recognition to the Internet. Drug commissioner is politically ruthless. Next Tuesday, she convened a meeting, which is all about the excessive and pathological computer game and internet search. The results of this forum are to be incorporated into their political work, she says.

In addition, a panel of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) called for the first time to assign the Internet dependency to the searcher's diseases. This decision is of particular importance because the APA plays a decisive role in the diagnostic classification of mental illnesses, stresses the Association of Media Deprivation. This gives the hope for those affected that political decisions pave the way and that not only the doors of the specialist clinics open but also the cost taking in a case of therapy by the funds is ensured.

"It is already clear that in the international DSM-5 guidelines, gambling is included as addiction in addition to alcohol and cocaine. In a next step, the field of Internet search is already being traded.

Only when this is actually anchored internationally will there be a legal framework that gives legal certainty and uniform therapies, special focus centers or research opens the door to the gray zone. Until then more than half a million people have to be helped by the back door.

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