BOSTON, Massachusetts –
Eager to re-watch the first four seasons of Game of Thrones in anticipation of the April release of the next chapter? Well, your urges may be cause for concern. Binge watching has in the past year been clinically verified as an addiction, and now doctors are saying it might be in line for classification as a ‘severe mental disorder’.
“We all know that television gives us an escape from the harsh realities of life. It also allows us to dissociate from our bodies into a state of mental inaptitude,” Dr John Wallans, editor of psychiatric diagnostic handbook, DSM-V, explained on his YouTube channel. “What it can do is turn our brains off and make us sink into depression and apathy. Some people do not recover as quickly after watching one episode, and they are drawn into watching two or three at a time. The habit slowly develops into a disorder, in which they are never free from the psychological disintegration, and use excessive television marathons as a distorted coping mechanism.”
The public at large remains unimpressed.
“I coulda toldja that,” said chronic watcher Jim Bellic. “I know what’s wrong with my head, and I know why I binge watch. Doctors just wanna make everything into an illness ya know. It’s so they can make money on drugs. They’re in it with the pharmaceutical companies. I think it’s called pharming.”
Television personality Dr Oz has jumped onto the mental illness bandwagon, using the latest episode of his show to spread terror of this “terrible malady” and promote BingeKiller, a so-called “wonder-drug which cures tv induced depression in mere seconds.”
For more information about the symptoms of the disorder and how to treat it, stories of diagnosis and cure, and fear-mongering by irate Googlers, WebMD has added binge-watching to its catalogue, and has already built up over ten million comments sharing non-expert advice.