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Part I:
Understanding the
Island Syndrome

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Part 1: Understanding the Island Syndrome

(August 12, 2010)

What's in the News?

U.S. Shows Signs of Net Addiction

October 18, 2006 (BBC News)

"More than one in eight adults in the U.S. show signs of being addicted to the Internet, a study has shown. 'Addicts' showed signs of compulsive Internet use, habitually checking email, websites, and chat rooms. More than 8% of the 2,513 respondents to the Stanford University phone survey said they hid their use from partners..."

Technology Overload Can Ruin Relationships

January 23, 2008 (Reuters Life)

"Technology might be just as addictive as alcohol and drugs and could also wreak havoc with personal and work relationships, a leading expert said. John O'Neill, the director of addictions services at the Menninger Clinic in Houston, Texas, refers to it as 'technology overload', when he sees addiction-like behavior in his patients using cell phones or email.

"'I think they share some of the same components as people who become addicted to alcohol and drugs in that we start to see that someone cannot really put it down and cannot stop the use of it even when there are some consequences,' he said. 'We can become overloaded by technology and suffer consequences in our relationships'..."

Coffee Is the Norm For a Growing Number of Teens, Kids

April 15, 2008 (Associated Press)

"Getting your morning jolt can be tough in Hawarden, Iowa, where there are 2,600 people and not one Starbucks or Dunkin' Donuts. It's even harder when you're too young to drive. Which makes the middle and high school students at West Sioux Community School especially grateful for the Falcon Joe Coffee Shop, an oasis of espressos, lattes, and other coffee drinks right inside their school.

"'It's a very popular thing. Most of us hang out on the couches in the senior lounge and chat while we drink lattes,' says 18-year-old Diana Rubio, who has been drinking coffee since she was about 12..."

Omega-3, Junk Food and the Link Between Violence and What We Eat

October 17, 2006 (The Guardian, U.K.)

"Research with British and U.S. offenders suggests nutritional deficiencies may play a key role in aggressive behavior... The scientific trial at a UK prison showed that when young men were fed multivitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids, the number of violent offences they committed in the prison fell by 37%.

"Although no one is suggesting poor diet alone can account for complex social problems, a former chief inspector of prisons says he is now 'absolutely convinced that there is a direct link between diet and antisocial behavior: that bad diet causes bad behavior and good diet prevents it'..."

Professionals Use Drugs to Sharpen Their Minds

April 9, 2008 (HealthDay News)

"One in five respondents to a scientific journal survey acknowledges using so-called 'cognition-enhancing drugs' to sharpen their focus, concentration or memory.

"The most popular drug was Ritalin (methylphenidate), which is prescribed to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, but has emerged in recent years as a campus 'study aid'. Coming in second was the stimulant Provigil (modafinil), followed by blood-pressure drugs called beta blockers, which can also help to reduce anxiety..."

Hooked on the Web: Help Is on the Way

December 1, 2005 (New York Times)

"Specialists estimate that 6-10 percent of the 189 million Internet users in this country have a dependency that can be as destructive as alcoholism and drug addiction... Mental health professionals who support the diagnosis of Internet addiction say a majority of obsessive users further their addictions to gambling or pornography or have become more dependent on those vices because of their prevalence on the Internet.

Other users have a broader dependency, spending hours daily on the Web, trading stocks, instant messaging, and blogging. A fast-rising number are becoming addicted to Internet video games..."

In Korea, a Boot Camp Cure for Web Obsession

November 18, 2007 (New York Times)

"...Compulsive Internet use has been identified as a mental health issue in other countries, including the United States. However, it may be a particularly acute problem in South Korea because of the country's nearly universal Internet access. It has become a national issue here in recent years, as users started dropping dead from exhaustion after playing online games for days on end.

"A growing number of students have skipped school to stay online, shockingly self-destructive behavior in this intensely competitive society. Up to 30 percent of South Koreans under 18, about 2.4 million people, are at risk of Internet addiction, said a child psychiatrist at Hanyang University in Seoul..."

Gender Gap in Alcohol Drinking, Dependence Shrinks

May 5, 2008 (Reuters Health)

"There have been marked increases in alcohol consumption and alcohol dependence among U.S. women. Compared with women born between 1944 and 1953, women born between 1954 and 1963 were much more apt to drink alcohol, and those who drank had a higher risk of alcohol dependence..."

Jump to top of page


The Island Syndrome
1. What Is the Island Syndrome?
2. What's in the News?
3. Difficult Questions
4. Why the Nature of Communication...
5. No Man Is an Island
6. Putting a Name to the Malaise
7. The Lady and the Psychiatrist
Living in the Bubble
8. What's in the News?
9. The Three Mandatory Machines
10. Life in the Bubble
11. Why We Keep On Keeping On
12. The Lady and the Psychiatrist
The Importance of the Brain's Biochemical Environment
13. What's in the News?
14. The Story of Dave
15. Importance of Neurotransmitters
16. The Stuff of Moods, Feelings and...
17. What Does Dave Need?
18. The Lady and the Psychiatrist
19. Introduction to Part II
20. The Island Syndrome
21. Excessive Text Messaging
22. Excessive Pornography Use
23. Understanding the Biology
24. Hormones and Neurotransmitters
25. The Pleasure Center
26. Too Much, Too Fast: Craving and...
27. The Female and Male Brains
28. Biology of Excessive Text Messaging
29. Biology of Excessive Pornography...
30. Conclusion: The Island Syndrome...
31. References