Auslander heres ye problem Stanford 'Net addict' study p2pnet.net News:- Researchers at America's Stanford University have come up with another study which says spending too much time online can seriously affect your mental health. Do you feel queasy if you can't surf at will? Is checking your email frequently an essential part of your day? If you can't cruise your favourite blogs, do you feel something's gone wrong? In other words, are you a Net Addict? "Compulsive use of the Internet may be a serious condition along the lines of substance abuse and impulse-control disorders, U.S. researchers say," according to The Globe & Mail. In a study aimed at, "helping sort out the debate about whether problematic Internet use merits a medical diagnosis," Stanford University researchers say more than one in eight Americans, "showed at least one possible sign of problematic Internet use," says the story. "We often focus on how wonderful the Internet is - how simple and efficient it can make things," it has lead author Dr Elias Aboujaoude saying, "But we need to consider the fact that it creates real problems for a subset of people." He also said a small but growing number of people are now starting to visit doctors to seek help, says The Globe & Mail, also noting that the "compulsive drive" to check email, make blog entries or visit chat rooms, "isn't that different from what people who suffer from substance abuse or impulse-control disorders experience". Psychologist and computer engineer Kenneth Woog of San Clemente welcomed the study, saying too little research has been done on the problem, according to the San Jose Mercury News, going on: "Woog, who specializes in treating teenagers, is most worried about massive multiplayer online games. One such game, EverQuest, is referred to by many players as 'Evercrack,' because of its addictive nature, he said. "Some games 'are deliberately designed to be addicting,' Woog said. 'They're very compelling. You do something and get a reward. With enough rewards, you start to feel good about yourself. And you're part of a team of people on a common quest.' Because games operate on a 'subscription' model of sales, the most addicting games are the most lucrative for companies, he said. "Other therapists say they also increasingly see youths with unhealthy gaming habits, who neglect schoolwork and sports for online games." However, the study isn't saying anything new. Concerns about Net abuse have been around for years and this May, Canada's Dr Diane Wieland said some five to 10 percent of Net users have problem compulsions. "Just like all addictions, it takes you in a direction that you don't want to go," she stated. "It's slow moving at first and all of a sudden it takes over. It's probably very subtle, but people who are antisocial would be most vulnerable to this form of addiction." Auslander Wieland also worked up a set of questions peope who are worried about their surfing habits can use as a check-list. Among them are: * How often do you find that you stay online longer than you intended? * How often do you neglect household chores to spend more time online? * How often do you prefer the excitement of the Internet to intimacy in your relationship? * How often do you form new relationships with fellow online users? * How often do others in your life complain to you about the amount of time you spend online? * How often do your grades or school work suffer because of the amount of time you spend online?