We have only to look at some recent celebrity headlines to imagine Texting Addiction. With denial protecting the psyche celebrities are falling victim to the addiction of texting. Tiger Woods has done the public a service by admitting his addiction and receiving specific treatment for his malady. Evidence now shows that texting addiction leads to moral degradation.
With information from people who know associates of Mr. Woods we learn that the cause of the Thanksgiving car crash that unraveled Tiger’s empire was a result of texting while driving. Two women have come forward with text messages they report were from Tiger – only moments before his SUV struck the tree. Is seems that, as with alcohol, the first public evidence of addiction manifests while driving.
Noted psychiatrist, Charles (Chip) Wannabee, reports the evidence of texting as a certified disease is growing. Dr. Wannabee reports that a disease has identifiable symptoms and identifiable treatments – thus textoholism qualifies.
Dr. Wannabee suggests that the early stages of Textoholism begins with moral degradation. The textoholic becomes more isolated, spending less quality time with family. Patterns of speech are evident, and unique, to textoholism. Words are replaced with numbers, and some words are reduced to single letters of the alphabet. The viral potential of texting often leads to family disturbances. As the illness progresses the problems spread to the work place and eventually legal troubles begin to surface. There are identifiable symptoms. Dr. Wannabee is adamant – the disease must be stabilized in early stages because there are no verifiable studies of long term damage. The specific nature of moral decline indicates the narrative of a ‘spiritual illness.’
Treatments are rapidly evolving from more traditional 12 Step Programs. Group counseling requires textoholics to sit together and actually look each other in the eye while speaking. Clients new to this process find the group encounter extremely uncomfortable. Attendees are required to speak in full sentences. Complex verbal expressions are encouraged. Confrontation by the Counselor might be something like this, “Did you say ‘for’ or ‘4?” ‘ Individual counseling sessions require individualized treatment plans. The plan should take into consideration the family and professional environment of the client.
Progress in recovery is measured in terms of regaining social status, returning to family, and eventually returning to the work force – ready to be a productive member of society.
Tiger’s progress is measurable. He returned to the public eye with public apologies for errant behaviors related to his textoholism. The individual counseling plan called for a return to work early in April. The family counseling has been difficult because of the nature of verbal degradation associated with long term texting.
This post is an example of the narrative understanding of the phenomenon of “addiction.” The narrative makes a lot of sense. But does that qualify as a diagnosable mental illness?