Hundreds of thousands of children addicted to their electronic devices could be diagnosed as suffering from a mental illness known as 'internet use disorder' should the addiction be included in the worldwide psychiatric manual.
The proposal for the inclusion of addiction was submitted by the Australian Psychological Society who were backed by a number of Australian psychology professionals. The psychologists said that they were concerned by the growing instances of children as young as seven year olds displaying aggressive, irritable and hostile behavior when they are deprived of their iPads and laptops.
The psychologists added that the addiction could also lead to children exhibiting emotional shutdown, lack of concentration and withdrawal symptoms when they do not have access to their electronic devices.
Mike Kyrios, who is the professor of psychology at Swinburne University of Technology, said that once the addiction is declared as a mental illness, more research can be conducted, allowing psychologists to diagnose such addiction and provide the required treatment.