First Croatian Clinic for Internet Addicts to Open

Total Croatia News

Modern life brings new forms of addiction.

“Sveti Ivan” Psychiatric Hospital in Zagreb has decided to open an outpatient clinic for internet addicts, reports on February 6, 2017.

It is not easy to recognize pathological addiction to the internet, as opposed to the dependence imposed by the contemporary life full of technology. Today, in the era of modern technology, everyone feels “a third person effect“, which means that people do not believe that the media and modern technology affect them as much as other people. However, that is just our personal opinion which we use to try to reassure ourselves that we are not as susceptible to the influence of everything which surrounds us.

A similar thing happened to 48-year-old Mario, who got hooked on an internet game which is simultaneously played by thousands of online players from around the world. It all started with half an hour of play a day, or more often a night, and soon turned into all-night gaming. He would go to work sleepy, tired and distracted, and would continue to play there if he had a chance.

His relations with his wife and children deteriorated, he neglected his physical appearance, hygiene, developed a sleep disorder, and seriously jeopardized his health. After he faced a divorce and dismissal at work, he had to admit that he had become an addict and that he must do something about it.

In terms of age, Mario is not a typical Internet addict, since it is a disorder which mostly affects younger population. Unfortunately, there is no precise data on the number of people affected with these kinds of disorders, and this kind of addiction has not yet been included in the official psychiatric classification, unlike other addictions, such as gambling. Still, the problem certainly exists.

“Sveti Ivan” Psychiatric Hospital in Zagreb reacted by deciding to open an outpatient clinic for Internet addicts, the first such institution in Croatia. “The clinic is meant for adults for whom, after our team performs an individual exam, we conclude that they are addicted to the internet or are close to being addicted, which means that they are at the stage of so-called harmful use”, said Davor Bodor, a psychiatrist who headed the effort to open outpatient clinics for addicts to alcohol and gambling, and Irena Rojnić Palavra, a psychiatrist who will be part of the multidisciplinary team helping internet addicts.


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