The first US Internet addiction clinic has opened in Fall City, Wash. The Heavensfield Retreat Center offers “reStart,” a 45-day in-patient rehab program for Internet, video game, and texting addictions, LiveScience reports. Clients undergo talk therapy and social skills training, as well as feeding goats, raising chickens, and learning home maintenance work in an attempt to give them feelings of satisfaction that don’t involve being online. The price: $14,500.
ReStart already has its first patient, a 19-year-old World of Warcraft obsessive. Yet the debate continues over whether Internet addiction is a real; the American Psychiatric Association does not recognize it as a disorder. Compulsive Internet use may just be a symptom of “underlying psychiatric disorders, such as anxiety, or depression or a disturbance in interpersonal relationships,” speculated a Tufts psychology professor.