Do you play video games on the Internet in excess? Are you compulsively shopping online? Is your excessive computer use interfering with your daily life — relationships, work, school?
This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Abstract Problematic computer use is a growing social issue which is being debated worldwide.
Internet Addiction Disorder IAD ruins lives by causing neurological complications, psychological disturbances, and social problems. Surveys in the United States and Europe have indicated alarming prevalence rates between 1. There are several reviews addressing the definition, classification, assessment, epidemiology, and co-morbidity of IAD , and some reviews  addressing the treatment of IAD.
The aim of this paper is to give a preferably brief overview of research on IAD and theoretical considerations from a practical perspective based on years of daily work with clients suffering from Internet addiction.
Furthermore, with this paper we intend to bring in practical experience in the debate about the eventual inclusion of IAD in the next version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM.
Meanwhile, both China and South Korea have identified Internet addiction as a significant public health threat and both countries support education, research and treatment [ 12 ]. In the United States, despite a growing body of research, and treatment for the disorder available in out-patient and in-patient settings, there has been no formal governmental response to the issue of Internet addiction.
While the debate goes on about whether or not the DSM-V should designate Internet addiction a mental disorder [ 12 - 14 ] people currently suffering from Internet addiction are seeking treatment. Because of our experience we support the development of uniform diagnostic criteria and the inclusion of IAD in the DSM-V [ 11 ] in order to advance public education, diagnosis and treatment of this important disorder.
It is accompanied by changes in mood, preoccupation with the Internet and digital media, the inability to control the amount of time spent interfacing with digital technology, the need for more time or a new game to achieve a desired mood, withdrawal symptoms when not engaged, and a continuation of the behavior despite family conflict, a diminishing social life and adverse work or academic consequences [ 21617 ].
Some researchers and mental health practitioners see excessive Internet use as a symptom of another disorder such as anxiety or depression rather than a separate entity [e. Internet addiction could be considered an Impulse control disorder not otherwise specified.
Yet there is a growing consensus that this constellation of symptoms is an addiction [e. The American Society of Addiction Medicine ASAM recently released a new definition of addiction as a chronic brain disorder, officially proposing for the first time that addiction is not limited to substance use [ 20 ].
All addictions, whether chemical or behavioral, share certain characteristics including salience, compulsive use loss of controlmood modification and the alleviation of distress, tolerance and withdrawal, and the continuation despite negative consequences.
Since then variations in both name and criteria have been put forward to capture the problem, which is now most popularly known as Internet Addiction Disorder.
Problematic Internet Use PIU [ 21 ], computer addiction, Internet dependence [ 22 ], compulsive Internet use, pathological Internet use [ 23 ], and many other labels can be found in the literature.
Likewise a variety of often overlapping criteria have been proposed and studied, some of which have been validated. However, empirical studies provide an inconsistent set of criteria to define Internet addiction [ 24 ].
For an overview see Byun et al.
Beard [ 2 ] recommends that the following five diagnostic criteria are required for a diagnosis of Internet addiction: Additionally, at least one of the following must be present: There has been also been a variety of assessment tools used in evaluation. In their review Weinstein and Lejoyeux [ 1 ] report that surveys in the United States and Europe have indicated prevalence rates varying between 1.Internet dependence is a term for excessive use of the Internet to the detriment of one’s physical, psychological, social, or vocational well-being.
The majority of Americans and virtually all college students now use the Internet as a source of information and entertainment on at least an occasional basis. Internet addiction has been called Internet dependency and Internet compulsivity.
By any name, it is a compulsive behavior that completely dominates the addict's life. Internet addicts make the Internet a priority more important than family, friends, and work. Problematic Internet Use (PIU), computer addiction, Internet dependence, compulsive Internet use, pathological Internet use, and many other labels can be found in the literature.
Likewise a variety of often overlapping criteria have been proposed and studied, some of which have been validated. It is suggested one of the causes of Internet Addiction Disorder is structural changes to the prefrontal region of the brain are detrimental to your capability to prioritize tasks in your life, rendering you unable to prioritize your life, i.e., the Internet takes precedence to necessary life tasks.
Internet addiction is commonly referred to as "electronic opium" or "electronic heroin" in China. The government of the People's Republic of China is the first country to formally classify Internet addiction a clinical disorder by recognizing Clinical Diagnostic Criteria for Internet Addiction in Definition of Internet Addiction (Internet Dependency) Dr.
Kimberly Young, a leading researcher into Internet addiction and founder of the Center for Online Addiction defines Internet addiction as.