Russell Kane reveals he is receiving treatment for internet addiction: 'I am no longer in control of how I use that machine'

Writer, comedian and TV presenter said his habit meant he was missing out on time with family and friends

Roisin O'Connor@Roisin_OConnor
Saturday 28 July 2018 10:53
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Internet addiction hits Japan s youth

Russell Kane is taking part in a programme of counselling to deal with internet addiction, he has revealed.

The writer and comedian compared the feeling to that of a cocaine addict and said he constantly has to check his phone and social media accounts.

Speaking on his Joe.co.uk podcast, Boys Don’t Cry with Russell Kane, he said: “I’ll throw something out there. I’ve had six counselling sessions for internet addiction. Six, because it’s affecting my life. I haven’t shared this publicly, in fact I don’t think my mum even knows this.”

The 42-year-old said that his internet habit had become so severe that he was missing out on time with family and friends.

“I was getting in, say from a gig, going back on a Sunday morning, and all my family’s arrived to a barbecue and I’ll go and get changed.

“But I wasn’t just going up there to get changed, I was going up there because I wanted to refresh my socials and have a few minutes on the phone.

“That is like someone going to the bathroom to do coke,” he added. “I am no longer in control of how I use that machine.”

Kane’s revelation comes shortly after the NHS announced funding for the UK’s first ever internet addiction centre, after the Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust saw a spike in people with gaming addictions.

Psychiatrist and clinic founder Henrietta Bowden-Jones said: “The distress and harm it can cause is extreme and I feel a moral duty on behalf of the NHS to provide the evidence-based treatment these young people and their families need.”

Those who say they suffer from internet addiction share many symptoms with other types of addicts, in terms of which chemicals are released into the brain. The pleasure centres of the brain light up when introduced to the stimulus.

Addicts can lose interest in other hobbies or, sometimes, never develop any. When not allowed to go online, they experience withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, depression or even physical shaking.

Kane is set to appear on Love Island: Aftersun in Majorca on Sunday 29 July.

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