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09/01/2005 Archived Entry: "HEALTH ALERT: New Syndrome Associated with Habitual Use of the Internet"

Mental health practitioners surprised by sudden uptick in SIWS cases.

Sudden Internet Withdrawal Syndrome (SIWS) is a relatively new condition that practitioners say can be triggered by an abrupt and prolonged inability to go online and an inability to cope with loss of network connectivity.

SIWS is often associated with mild depression and fatigue, while exhibiting obsessive-compulsive behaviors such as arranging food and clothing hierarchically (cross referenced to maker, age, size, and color by using string or thread), storing irrelevant data, repeated reaching for the CTL+A+delete keys while looking at a dirty kitchen. In some extreme cases; in high or acute stress situations; OCB could manifest into paranoid (e.g., profound fear of people trying to inject viruses or spyware into the brain) and/or mild schizoid personality disorders (e.g., assuming AOL screen name identities).

Other possible and observable symptoms: involuntary flicking of the mouse finger while watching television (to close or minimize windows), unconscious urge to hit CTL+Z keys to undo the last five minutes of personal conversation, involuntary impulse to check for email even while sleeping. Other symptoms may include visual artifacts such as pixilation in people's faces and oral fixations such as trying to burn cdroms using the mouth or suckling RJ11 and/or RJ45 cable ends.

Severe conditions require immediate and concerted treatment with a range of cognitive behavior therapies, MAO drug therapies, and extended social isolation in an appropriate community environment. Mild cases may only require a moment of reflection and restoring online services.

Source: Wyman Colonic Institute (WCI)

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