Google Glass user treated for Internet addiction disorder
Internet addiction disorder is not recognized by mental health bible
User reported irritability when not able to use Google Glass
A man who checked in to the Navy’s Substance Abuse and Recovery Program for alcoholism treatment was also treated for a Google Glass addiction, according to a new study.
San Diego doctors say the 31-year-old man “exhibited significant frustration and irritability related to not being able to use his Google Glass.” He has a history of substance abuse, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, they say.
The man was using his Google Glass for up to 18 hours a day in the two months leading up to his admission in September 2013, according to the study. He wore it to work and reported feeling more confident in social situations while wearing it. He removed it only to sleep and bathe, according to the study authors.
The controversial eyewear allows users to access online information, shoot photos or video and send messages. It is controlled by voice or by using the tiny touchpad on its side. Potential dangers of wearing the device, including decreased awareness and headaches, have been documented.
Google Glass users frequently reach for the device, tapping near their temples to control its features; this patient repeatedly did the same, even when the device was not there.
“He reported that if he had been prevented from wearing the device while at work, he would become extremely irritable and argumentative,” the doctors write.
This is the first known case of Internet addiction disorder involving Google Glass, according to the study authors. It is not a recognized disorder in the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the go-to resource book for mental health professionals.
“Individuals with IAD manifest severe emotional, social, and mental dysfunction in multiple areas of daily activities due to their problematic use of technology and the internet,” according to the study abstract.
While in the treatment program, the man experienced withdrawal symptoms that he reportedly said were much worse than the withdrawal he went through from alcohol.
After 35 days at the center, the patient reported a reduction in irritability and was no longer repeatedly moving his hand to his temple. However, doctors say he continued to “intermittently experience dreams as if looking through the device.”