Internet Addiction is the New Mental Health Disorder.


The next edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders(DSM) – often referred to as the ‘s (APA) diagnostic “bible” – is due out in May 2013.

In this latest edition, DSM-5, “Internet use disorder” will be recommended as an area that needs further study.

While you won’t be able to be diagnosed with Internet use disorder just yet, recommending it for further study puts it squarely on the psychiatric radar, which means it’s likely to be bumped up to an actual mental health disorder very soon.

What is Internet Use Disorder?

As defined by the APA, Internet use disorder includes many characteristics of anyaddiction, such as experiencing withdrawal symptoms when the object of addiction is taken away, an inability to control its use, developing a tolerance to it, deceiving family members about its use, and losing interests in other hobbies. In this case, of course, the object of abuse is the Internet.

According to the APA, you might have a problem if you display these symptoms:1

Preoccupation with Internet gaming Withdrawal symptoms when Internet is taken away Tolerance: the need to spend increasing amounts of time engaged in Internet gaming
Unsuccessful attempts to control Internet gaming use Continued excessive Internet use despite knowledge of negative psychosocial problems Loss of interests, previous hobbies, entertainment as a result of, and with the exception of Internet gaming use
Use of the Internet gaming to escape or relieve a dysphoric mood Has deceived family members, therapists, or others regarding the amount of Internet gaming Has jeopardized or lost a significant relationship, job, or educational or career opportunity because of Internet gaming use

 

Certainly, some may have a legitimate problem with spending too much time online, in the same way that people become addicted to gambling, television, pornography… the list is endless. It’s quite possible to become addicted to virtually anything if it is used to the point where it interferes with other aspects of your life and puts your health, financial stability or relationships at risk…

But by making Internet addiction a certifiable mental illness, it then becomes treatable by drugs and billable through insurance companies – and morphs into a “disorder” that is likely something that will stigmatize your health records for the rest of your life. Not to mention, over-treatment is a very real risk… as has occurred with depression, ADHD, insomnia, and countless other conditions, many people with only “mild” cases may be diagnosed, and given drugs, when they are not at all necessary.

It is often the case that the newest mental health disorders are also those that happen to create the largest new drug markets. Millions of Americans, including me, use the Internet on a daily basis, many for hours on end, so the potential treatment market for “Internet use disorder” is huge.

Grief: Another “Disorder” Being Added to DSM-5

Grief is a highly individual experience, but for most people it takes two to six months to “run its course” – and sometimes much longer, all of which is normal and to be expected in the face of a significant loss. But according to DSM-5, you may actually have an “Adjustment Disorder” related to bereavement if:2

“Following the death of a close family member or close friend, the individual experiences on more days than not intense yearning or longing for the deceased, intense sorrow and emotional pain, or preoccupation with the deceased or the circumstances of the death for at least 12 months (or 6 months for children). The person may also display difficulty accepting the death, intense anger over the loss, a diminished sense of self, a feeling that life is empty, or difficulty planning for the future or engaging in activities or relationships.”

These all sound like normal reactions following the death of a loved one, but the DSM-5 also proposes further study for Persistent Complex Bereavement Disorder, with the purpose being to develop the best empirically-based set of symptoms to characterize individuals with bereavement-related disorders.”

Close to 2.5 million Americans die each year, and the number of those experiencing grief as a result is far higher. This is the market the pharmaceutical industry stands to gain, thanks to the APA’s trigger-happy attitude when it comes to labeling normal human emotions as psychiatric “disorders.”

Who Really Needs Their Heads Examined?

The APA works in tandem with the drug industry, “creating” more and more “psychiatric diseases,” which are appearing in the literature all the time:

  • Do you shop too much? You might have Compulsive Shopping Disorder.
  • Do you have a difficult time with multiplication? You could be suffering from Dyscalculia.
  • Spending too much time at the gym? You’d better see someone for your Bigorexia or Muscle Dysmorphia.
  • And my favorite – are your terrified by the number 13? You could have Triskaidekaphobia!

Each of these new “diseases” gets added to the next edition of the DSM if enough people show up with those traits. And increasingly, the criteria for inclusion involves whether or not the disorder responds to a category of drugs. If it does, the phenomenon is dubbed a disease.

Of the 297 mental disorders described in the DSM, none can be objectively measured by empirical test.3 In other words, they’re completely subjective! Mental illness symptoms within this manual are arbitrarily assigned by a subjective voting system by a psychiatric panel. So, they’re essentially making up diseases to fit the drugs – not the other way around.

According to marketing professional Vince Parry in a commentary called “The Art of Branding a Condition“:4

“‘Watching the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) balloon in size over the decades to its current phonebook dimensions would have us believe that the world is a more unstable place today than ever.’ …Not surprisingly, many of these newly coined conditions were brought to light through direct funding by pharmaceutical companies, in research, in publicity or both.”

A former chief of the American Psychiatric Association even admitted that some of the “mistakes” the APA made in its diagnostic manual have had “terrible consequences,” which have mislabeled millions of children and adults, and facilitated epidemics of mental illness that don’t exist.5

It’s almost impossible to see a psychiatrist today without being diagnosed with a mental disorder because so many behavior variations are described as pathology. And you have very high chance – approaching 100% – of emerging from your psychiatrist’s office with a prescription in hand. Writing a prescription is, of course, much faster than engaging in behavioral or lifestyle strategies, but it’s also a far more lucrative approach for the conventional model. Additionally, most practitioners have yet to accept the far more effective energetic psychological approaches, like the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT).

Do You Suspect You’re Spending Too Much Time Online?

Getting back to the topic of Internet addiction, it’s quite possible to overdo your time spent online. But psychotropic drugs are not likely to give you the solution you’re after. For starters, they have no known measurable biological imbalances to correct – unlike other drugs that can measurably alter levels of blood sugar, cholesterol and so on.

How can you medicate something that is not physically there? The answer is, of course, you can’t – and doing so is a dangerous game. In other words, drugs are probably not the answer to solving your Internet addiction.

What, then, is?

First of all, I want to point out that it absolutely is detrimental to your physical and emotional health to spend too much time in front of a computer. For one thing, it’s way too much sitting. “Screen time” – more than two hours a day in particular – is associated with increased physical, emotional and behavioral difficulties, regardless of the time spent exercising. Research has shown:

  • A study of more than 17,000 Canadians found that the mortality risk from all causes was 1.54 times higher among people who spent most of their day sitting compared to those who sat infrequently.6
  • Sitting time is a predictor of weight gain, even after accounting for calories consumed and leisure time physical activity, such as exercise time.7
  • The risk of metabolic syndrome rises in a dose-dependent manner depending on your “screen time” (the amount of time you spend watching TV or using a computer). Physical activity had only a minimal impact on the relationship between screen time and metabolic syndrome.8
  • Children who spent more than two hours a day watching TV or using a computer were 61 and 59 percent more likely to experience high levels of psychological difficulties, respectively.9

If online gaming or gambling is involved, the problem could seriously escalate, as well as if you’re neglecting your other responsibilities in order to participate in online gaming or other online activities.

If you suspect you have a problem, I suggest giving EFT a try. EFT is a form of psychological acupressure, based on the same energy meridians used in traditional acupuncture to treat physical and emotional ailments for over 5,000 years, but without the invasiveness of needles. Instead, simple tapping with the fingertips is used to input kinetic energy onto specific meridians on the head and chest while you think about your specific problem – whether it is a traumatic event, an addiction, pain, etc. – and voice positive affirmations.

This combination of tapping the energy meridians and voicing positive affirmation works to clear the “short-circuit” – the emotional block – from your body’s bioenergy system, thus restoring your mind and body’s balance, which is essential for optimal health and the healing of physical and emotional disease.

Source: Dr. Mercola

 

 

 

 

Novartis receives FDA approval for Flucelvax®, the first cell-culture vaccine in US to help protect against seasonal influenza.



  • Cell-culture technology, an alternative to traditional egg-based production, is the most significant advancement in influenza vaccine manufacturing in more than 40 years[1] 
  • Flucelvax is the only influenza vaccine of its kind in the US and does not contain any preservatives, such as thimerosal, or antibiotics[2]
  • Approval demonstrates Novartis leadership in advancing novel influenza vaccine research and manufacturing technologies

 

Basel, November 20, 2012 – Novartis announced today that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of Flucelvax® (Influenza Virus Vaccine), the first cell-culture-derived vaccine, for individuals 18 years of age and older[3].

 

Flucelvax utilizes full-scale cell-culture manufacturing technology, an alternative production method to traditional egg-based production[1]. Cell-culture technology utilizes a well-characterized mammalian cell line rather than chicken eggs to grow virus strains[2].

The production occurs in a closed, sterile, controlled environment, which significantly reduces the risk of potential impurities. Flucelvax does not contain any preservatives, such as thimerosal, or antibiotics[2].

 

Cell-culture technology enables rapid response to urgent public health needs such as a pandemic within weeks[1]. Traditional influenza vaccine production depends on a large number of fertilized chicken eggs to grow virus strains and requires many months for organization of egg supplies, virus incubation and actual production before the vaccine is delivered to physicians or pharmacies[4]. Cell-culture technology is successfully used to manufacture other vaccines, including those distributed during the H1N1 pandemic, as well as vaccines for polio, rubella and hepatitis A[5],[6].

 

“The approval of Flucelvax is an important milestone for our influenza franchise and brings an innovative vaccine to the US,” said Andrin Oswald, Division Head, Novartis Vaccines and Diagnostics. “Modern cell-culture technology will likely become the new standard for influenza vaccine production and we are proud to lead the way.”

 

Novartis has partnered with the US Department of Health and Human Services, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (HHS, BARDA) for the development of the cell-culture manufacturing technology, as well as for construction of the state-of-the-art facility in Holly Springs, N.C. Total public/private investment in the technology development and facility is more than $1 billion[1]. Flucelvax will be produced in Holly Springs once the facility is ready for full-scale commercial production. The facility is the first of its kind in the US and also allows for enhanced domestic pandemic preparedness[1].

 

“The availability of a cell-culture vaccine is an important step to ensuring our readiness for seasonal influenza, as well as a potential pandemic,” said Dr. William Schaffner, professor of medicine and chairman of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee. “Annual influenza vaccination is an important public health measure that helps protect thousands of people from illness and death each year.”

 

About influenza

Influenza is a highly infectious and potentially deadly disease of the respiratory tract, which spreads easily through transfer of respiratory droplets typically by coughing or sneezing[7]. In any given season, influenza may cause between 3,000 and 49,000 deaths and can hospitalize more than 200,000 people in the US alone[7],[8]. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated for seasonal influenza every year[7].

 

About Flucelvax

The basis for approval included data from clinical trials that found Flucelvax to be well tolerated, with an efficacy of 83.8 percent against antigenically-matched strains compared to placebo[3]. A multinational, randomized, observer-blinded, placebo-controlled trial was performed to assess clinical efficacy and safety of Flucelvax during the 2007-2008 influenza season in adults aged 18 to 49 years in the US, Finland and Poland[3]. A total of 11,404 subjects received Flucelvax (N=3828), seasonal influenza vaccine Agriflu® (N=3676) or placebo (N=3900) in a 1:1:1 ratio[3]. In a separate study in adults aged 65 years and older Flucelvax demonstrated comparable immunogenicity to Agriflu for all three strains post-vaccination[3].

 

Solicited adverse reactions are similar to those observed with administration of other seasonal influenza vaccines. Overall, in clinical studies, the most common (>=10 %) solicited adverse reactions occurring in adults 18 to 64 years within seven days of vaccination with Flucelvax were pain at the injection site, erythema (redness) at the injection site, headache, fatigue, myalgia and malaise. The most common (>=10 %) solicited adverse reactions occurring in adults 65 years of age or older within 7 days of vaccination were erythema at the injection site, fatigue, headache and malaise[3].

 

Novartis Vaccines partnership with US Department of Health and Human Services

Development of cell-culture technology has been funded in part with Federal funds from the Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under Contract No. HHSO100200600012C.

 

Construction of the Holly Springs facility was funded in part with Federal funds from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, under Contract No. HHSO100200900101C.

 

Indication and Important Safety Information

FLUCELVAX® is an inactivated vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of influenza disease caused by influenza virus subtypes A and type B contained in the vaccine. FLUCELVAX is approved for use in persons 18 years of age and older.

 

Do not administer FLUCELVAX to anyone with a history of severe allergic reaction (e.g. anaphylaxis) to any component of the vaccine.

 

If GBS has occurred within 6 weeks of receipt of a prior influenza vaccine, the decision to give FLUCELVAX should be based on careful consideration of the potential benefits and risks.

 

The tip caps of the pre-filled syringes may contain natural rubber latex which may cause allergic reactions in latex-sensitive individuals.

 

Appropriate medical treatment and supervision must be available to manage possible anaphylactic reactions following administration of the vaccine.

 

After vaccination with FLUCELVAX,immunocompromised individuals, including those receiving immunosuppressive therapy, may have a reduced immune response.

 

Vaccination with FLUCELVAX may not protect all vaccine recipients against influenza disease.

References

  1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “HHS Awards Contracts Totaling More Than $1 Billion to Develop Cell-Based Influenza Vaccine.” 2006 Available at: http://archive.hhs.gov/news/press/2006pres/20060504.html.
  2. Ambrozaitis, Arvydas et al. A novel mammalian cell-culture technique for consistent production of a well-tolerated and immunogenic trivalent subunit influenza vaccine. Vaccine. Vol 27. Issue 43. October 9, 2009: 6022-6029. Available at:http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X09011177. Accessed on October 3, 2012.
  3. Flucelvax Package Insert. 2012.
  4. Gerdil, Catherine. “The Annual Production Cycle for Influenza Vaccine.” Vaccine 21 (2003): 1776-1779.
  5. World Health Organization. “Production and Availability of Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Vaccines.” 2009. Available at:http://www.who.int/csr/disease/swineflu/frequently_asked_questions/vaccine_preparedness/production_availability/en/index.html. Accessed October 2012.
  6. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Guidance for Industry: Characterization and Qualification of Cell Substrates and Other Biological Materials Used in the Production of Viral Vaccines for Infectious Disease Indications.” 2010. Available at: http://www.fda.gov/downloads/biologicsbloodvaccines/
    guidancecomplianceregulatoryinformation/guidances/vaccines/ucm202439.pdf. Accessed October 2, 2012.
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Key Facts About Influenza and Flu Vaccine.” 2012. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/keyfacts.htm. Accessed July 2012.
  8. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Seasonal Influenza-Associated Hospitalizations in the United States.” 2011. Available at:http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/hospital.htm.

 

 

Source: Novartis Newsletter.