Clinic Treats First Case Of 'Netflix Addiction'

The man checked himself into a mental health clinic last week saying he needed help with a Netflix addiction.

The 26-year-old, who remains unidentified, admitted he needed help and took himself to National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences in Bangalore in India's south, where he said he used the streaming service as an extreme form of escapism.

According to The Hindu, the man said he spent six month bingeing on shows available on Netflix for at least seven hours a day to cope with his unemployment.

Manoj Kumar Sharma, a clinical psychologist at the institute's Service for Healthy Use of Technology (SHUT), told The Hindu the man's addiction had profound affects on his life and health.

Image: Getty Images.

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Sharma told the paper the man got intense pleasure from spending hours in front of the screen which meant he was able to avoid dealing with the stress of having to get a job.

From watching first thing in the morning, the man suffered severe eye-strain and disturbed sleep. Treating his condition will require relaxation exercises and career counselling.

This comes after Netflix CEO Reed Hastings said he believes the company's real competitor is sleep.

READ MORE: 'Gaming Disorder': Addiction Recognised By WHO

"You know, think about it, when you watch a show from Netflix and you get addicted to it, you stay up late at night," Hastings said in an earnings call in 2017.

"You really – we’re competing with sleep, on the margin."

Of course, there have been medical concerns associated with the amount of time people spend in front of their screens.

An illness like 'Netflix addiction' isn't listed in the DSM -- the diagnostic manual for medical professionals -- but in June 2018, the World Health Organisation listed video game addiction was a mental health disorder.

Contact Siobhan at skenna@networkten.com.au