What is Internet addiction disorder
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 31-03-2023

What is Internet addiction disorder


Do you check your phone the first thing in the morning? Can’t stop checking Instagram, Facebook and Whatsapp? Have you been compulsively shopping online? Internet use can turn into a disorder when its excess usage starts to interfere with an individual’s studies, jobs, relationships or basically personal, social, mental and emotional well being. The internet addiction disorder is like any other addiction disorder, it is categorized under impulse control disorder and is found to be similar in nature to pathological gambling based on international diagnostic criterions as it does not involve use of any intoxicating drug. It is often referred to as compulsive internet use or problematic internet use.

The reason for increasing internet addiction can be attributed to explosion of the digital age. Internet addiction disorder has taken reign as the top culprit is technology addiction lately.  However internet addiction is a subset of technology addiction is general. Certain research reports suggest that internet addiction disorder affects 38% of the general population. The world is repetitively using technology and made its use a priority, this practice is destroying our mental well being and quality of life.

There is no physical substance involved in internet addiction, yet the disorder consists of withdrawal symptoms including aggression, tension, stress, depression, agitation and hostility when the access to internet is not available. Tolerance is another important feature of any addiction disorder which can be understood by wanting or needing more and more computer-related stimulation from the users’ perspective .The world is repetitively using technology and made its use a priority.

There are certain warning signs of internet addiction disorder

  • Preoccupation with usage of Internet. 
  • Excessive Use of the Internet to achieve satisfaction.
  • Repeated behavior involving internet use
  • Failed efforts to control cut back or stop Internet use.
  • Feelings of restlessness, moodiness, depression, or irritability when attempting to cut down use of the Internet.
  • Unintended time spending on line
  • Jeopardized or risked loss of significant relationships, job, educational or career opportunities because of Internet use.
  • Tries to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet from family members and therapist.
  • Use of the Internet is a way to escape from problems or to relieve distress



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