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First Case of Google Glass Addiction Treated

Update Date: Oct 15, 2014 10:45 AM EDT
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Doctors from San Diego reported the first case of Google Glass addiction in a 31-year-old man. According to the doctors, the man checked in to the Navy's Substance Abuse and Recovery Program to get treatment for alcoholism. Under supervision, the doctors noticed that he had signs of withdrawal when he could not use his Google Glass.

The patient, who has a history of substance abuse, depressive disorder, anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, reported using his Google Glass for up to 18 hours per day. He only took it off when he had to sleep or shower. When he wore the Glass to work, he reported feeling more confident, especially in social situations.

At the beginning of his treatment, the patient reported experiencing withdrawal symptoms from the Google Glass that felt were worse than his withdrawal symptoms from alcohol. After 35 days of treatment, he reported improvements in his symptoms. Overall, he felt less irritable and he no longer moved his hand to his temple out of habit.

"He reported that if he had been prevented from wearing the device while at work, he would become extremely irritable and argumentative," the doctors detailed according to CNN.

"When the therapist would ask him a question, he would have this repeated movement of placing his index finger to the right side of face, similar to trying to turn on the Glass," co-author of the study, Dr. Andrew Doan, the head of addictions and resilience research at the Naval Medical Center, said reported in NBC News.

The doctors reported that this is the first known case of Internet addiction disorder (IAD) that is related to the Google Glass. Although the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not recognize this type of addiction, the doctors found that the man's withdrawal symptoms were comparable to symptoms seen in other kinds of addictions.

"Individuals with IAD manifest severe emotional, social, and mental dysfunction in multiple areas of daily activities due to their problematic use of technology and the internet," the authors explained.

The study, "Internet addiction disorder and problematic use of Google GlassTM in patient treated at a residential substance abuse treatment program," was published in the journal, Addictive Behaviors.  

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