Health Highlights: Dec. 21, 2009

For some teenagers, the social networking site Facebook is so seductive that they must take extreme measures to releases themselves from its addictive grip.

According to The New York Times, teens, mainly girls, are forming support groups, attempting to set personal time limits, asking others to change their passwords or deactivating their accounts altogether in an attempt to break the time-consuming habit.

"It's like any other addiction," psychologist Kimberly Young, the director of the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery in Bradford, Penn., told The Times. "Its hard to wean yourself."

Without computer-addiction programs to help them, addicted Facebookers must devise their own strategies. "A lot of them are finding their own balance," Young said. "Its like an eating disorder. You can't eliminate food. You just have to make better choices about what you eat. And what you do online."

Industry experts say Facebook's reach among teens nearly doubled in the past year. According to the Nielsen Company, Facebook was used by 54.7 percent of U.S. teens ages 12 to 17 in October, an increase from 28.3 percent a year earlier, The Times noted.

Facebook doesn't make it easy to say goodbye. Before the struggling teens can deactivate their Facebook accounts, they must check off six reasons why they want to quit. And if they change their minds, they are welcomed back using their original login and password information.

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