7 Healthcast: Internet addiction
"Then I don't have to move and I can watch something while eating," she said.
While her parents don't consider her an addict quite yet, Internet addiction is a very real problem. Psychologist Dr. Robert Reiner says he gets a new patient with Internet related issues once a week.
"There's something about the medium we don't fully understand that attracts people and keeps them on there," he said.
Dr. Reiner says the ease of accessing the World Wide Web has made it easier for people to become addicted to blogging, emailing, and playing games. While it is often harmless, it can get dangerous.
"19 year old kid, his father thought he was online too much, so he disconnected the modem," explained Dr. Reiner. "And he got so upset he grabbed his mom by the hair, put a knife to her neck and said, 'I'm going to kill you unless you put that thing back.'"
But Zoey's parents say they won't tear her away from the net just yet.
"She gets her homework done, she takes care of herself and she's progressing in all ways," said Zoey's dad, Steve Zagoria. "So I just see it as something that she's fascinated with and enjoys."
Therapists who treat the addiction say it's like treating any other addiction and they focus on moderation and controlled use of the Internet.(Copyright 2008 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)