Internet Addiction Disorder or IAD is reported to be “ruining” lives, as stated by the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Specifically, the said ‘ruining’ as impacted “neurological complications, pathological disturbances, and social problems.” There has also been debate regarding the classification of internet addiction as a mental disorder, due to its negative impact on one’s mood.
Notably, IAD is confined to non-work technology related devices. Some systems include changes in mood such as irritability, withdrawal when not engaged, a decline in social activities, and the longing for more devices to feel satisfied. Overall addictions include withdrawals, mood modification, and longevity. The National Center for Biotechnology, further notes that prior research could indicate that internet addiction can be connected to another disorder such as an impulse disorder.
There are five core indicators that serve as diagnostic criteria. The criteria include 1.) unsuccessful efforts to control internet use, 2.) need to use the internet with increased amounts of time to achieve satisfaction, 3.) constant preoccupation with devices, 4.) feelings of restlessness, irritability, and anxiety, 5.) stayed online longer than intended. In addition one of these behaviors must be present 1.) the addiction has endangered relationships, jobs, education due to the internet. 2.) has lied to others about the seriousness of the impulse, 3.) relies on the internet as a way to escape their problems.
The two main modes for the development of Internet Addiction Disorder are the ACE and Triple-A methods. The acronym ACE stands for anonymity, convenience, and escape, the Triple-A method refers to access, affordability, and anonymity. These factors fuel the addiction. Another factor includes socio-cultural and biological vulnerabilities.
While examining the addictive disorder, a statement was included about an individual’s experience receiving treatment. The quote reads: “I feel technology has brought so much joy into my life. No other activity relaxes me or stimulates me like technology. However, when depression hits, I tend to use technology as a way of retreating and isolating.” This is related to the “reward center” of the brain that releases dopamines. Yet, with IAD the withdrawal can be severe.
Lastly, NCBI and researchers have revealed that there are treatment options include creating new schedules, use external stoppers that prompt logging off. Another treatment option is actively setting goals and disengaging from specific applications that promote repetitive behavior.
Article by: Alexis Takagi
Cash, H., Rae, C. D., Steel, A. H., & Winkler, A. (2012, November). Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3480687/.