What is Internet addiction disorder

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

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Do you check your phone 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. 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 criteria as it does not involve the 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 the explosion of the digital age. Internet addiction disorder has taken the reign as the top culprit in technology addiction lately.  However, internet addiction is a subset of technology addiction in general. Certain research reports suggest that internet addiction disorder affects 38% of the general population. The world is repetitively using technology and making 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 making its use a priority.

There are certain warning signs of internet addiction disorder

  • Preoccupation with the usage of the Internet. 

  • Excessive Use of the Internet to achieve satisfaction.

  • Repeated behaviour 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 the use of the Internet.

  • Unintended time spent online

  • Jeopardized or risked loss of significant relationships, job, educational or career opportunities because of Internet use.

  • Trying to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet from family members and therapists.

  • Use of the Internet is a way to escape from problems or to relieve distress

It is important to remember, with the right intervention and strong willpower any addiction can be overcome. If you have been struggling with internet addiction and need help, consult a HopeQure therapist today.

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