INTERNET USE DISORDER

www.Internet-Use-Disorder.org

Internet Use Disorder  Internet Use Disorder  Internetabhängigkeit  Trastorno Uso Internet

“The grief that does not speak,
 whispers the heart, and bids it break.“

  
William Shakespeare

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   Internet Use Disorder

   Part A: Background
      Epidemiology
         - Prevalence
      Symptoms
      Subtypes
      Diagnosis
         - DSM-5 Criteria
         - Psychological Tests
         - Differential Diagnoses
      Comorbidity
      Treatment
   Part B: Self Help
   Part C: Books
   Index (A to Z)
 

Internet Use Disorder

Internet Use Disorder (IUD), also called Internet Use Gaming Disorder, Web dependency or Internet addicition disorder (IAD), is characterized by an excessive use of computers or other devices, e.g. smartphones, tablet-pcs etc., for online activities, to an extent that other activities of dailiy life are severely compromized.

With a prevalence of about 1 to 10% among adolescents Internet Use Disorder is a relatively frequent phenomenon that can lead to severe functional impairment and distress.

On the following pages you will find extensive information on Internet Use Disorders and its treatment.

In addition, you can also browse our entire knowledge base on mental disorders and their treatment options. Simply enter your search keywords, or the topics you are interest in, in the following box:
 

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There is still a dispute, if compulsive internet use is an actual mental health disorder or a symptom or subtype of other disorders, as for example depression or pathological gambling.

Despite all criticism, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) is planning to include Internet-Use-Gaming-Disorder as a condition “redommended for further study” in the 5th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5.

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - DSM-5 Citeria
 

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Further Reading...


Internet Addiction

edited by Kimberley S. Young and Christiano Nabuco de Abreu

Internet Addiction

Kimberley S. Young, the researcher who first brought clinical attention to the issue of problematic Internet use, and Christiano Nabuco de Abreu, director of the Integrated Impulsive Disorders Outpatient Unit at the University of San Paulo, provide with “Internet Addiction - A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment” an up to date overview on Internet addiction, the treatment options and strategies for prevention.

This book on Amazon.com >>

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Prevalence

Since the diagnostic criteria for Internet Use Disorder have not yet been fully established, previous studies on the prevalence of IUD can only be compared to some extent, since diagnostic criteria varied between countries and research groups.

In previous studies prevalence rates of Internet Use Disorder have been estimated to be between 1 and 10%. Further studies are required.

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - Prevalence
 

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Symptoms

Symptoms of Internet Use Disorder include

  • overwhelming preoccupation with online-activities to an extent, that leads to impairment or distress,
  • loss of other interests,
  • inability to limit time spent on the internet,
  • the need to spend increasing time on the internet,
  • unsuccessful attempts to quit internet-use,
  • use of the internet to improve or escape aversive conditions, as for example dysphoric mood, anxiety, unfavorable duties etc.
  • and withdrawal symptoms when the internet is no longer available.

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - Symptoms
 

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Subtypes

Several subtypes of Internet Use Disorder have been proclaimed, such as overwhelming, or inappropriate pornography use, online-gaming, online social networking, blogging, or internet-shopping.

In some cases, these “subtypes” may be symptoms of other mental health problems. Excessive internet-shopping for example may be a symptom of a depressive disorder, excessive social networking may be an avoidance-behaviour in persons with social anxiety disorder, etc.

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - Subtypes
 

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Diagnosis

The diagnosis of Internet Use Disorder will be much more simplified with the  American Psychiatric Association planning to include Internet-Use-Gaming-Disorder as a condition “recommended for further study” in the 5th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, DSM-5.

In the past, the lack of uniform diagnostic criteria lead to parallel definitions of the terms “Internet addiction” and “Internet Use Disorder”, which resulted in a conglomerate of names for the disorder and uncertanty about the diagnostic criteria.

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - Diagnosis
 

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DSM-5 Criteria

Although excessive Internet use and its impact on adults and adolescents has been widely publicized, Internet addiction or Internet Use Disorder have not been recognized as diagnostic categories in the 4th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV) and in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10).

The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is now planning to include  Internet Use Gaming Disorder as a condition “recommended for further study” in the 5th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - DSM-5 criteria
 

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Psychological Tests

For the evaluation of Internet Use Disorder only a few psychological tests are available. Since the development of uniform diagnostic criteria is still a subject of discussion, some of the tests available show  lacks in psychometric qualities.

The Internet Addiction Test (IAT), the Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS), the Chen Internet Addiction Scale (CIAS)  and the Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire (PIUQ) are some of the most used psychological tests for the assessment of Internet Use Disorder.

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - Psychological Tests
 

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Differential Diagnoses

Differential diagnoses for Internet Use Disorder include a variety of mental health disorders, such as mood disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety disorders, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), or personality disorders.

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - Differential Diagnoses
 

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Comorbidity

Little is known about the comorbidity of Internet Use Disorder. There are reports of high comorbidity with affective disorders, especially depression, social anxiety disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and substance use disorder, but most of the previous studies have several methodological limitations.

In one of the first studies on the psychiatric comorbidity of compulsive computer use, Black et al. evaluated 21 individuals with self-reported excessive computer use. According to Black, of these 21 subjects 7 (33%) had a lifetime mood disorder, 8 (38%)  a substance use disorder, 4 subjects (19%) had a lifetime anxiety disorder, and 11 subjects (52%) met criteria for at least one personality disorder

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - Comorbidity
 

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Treatment

Even though Internet Use Disorder has been extensively discussed in the media, there have been only a few double-blind, controlled trials on the treatment of Internet Use Disorder. Most of the previous treatment studies  either used inconsistent criteria to define Internet Use Disorder or lacked an adequate methodological quality in assessing the therapeutic outcome, or both.

As far as is known, psychotherapy, especially Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and self-help programs seem to be effective.

Based on the experience of the treatment of other addicitive or compulsive disorders, Psychoeducation and Familiy Counseling might be helpful.

So far, there are no sufficient data on the pharmacotherapy of Internet Use Disorder. The use of antidepressants, mood stabilizers, anxiolytics, and of Naltrexone has been proposed.
 

Main article: Internet Use Disorder - Treatment
 

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Books

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders
(DSM-5)

by the American Psychiatric Association (APA)

The 5th revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is now available.

American Psychiatric Association:
“The manual’s comprehensive revision process, the first complete revision since 1994, has spanned over a decade and included contributions from more than 1,500 experts in psychiatry, psychology, social work, psychiatric nursing, pediatrics, neurology, and other related fields from 39 countries.”

This book on Amazon.com >>

 

Internet Addiction: A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment

by K.S. Young and C. Nabuco de Abreu (Editors)

Kimberley S. Young, the researcher who first brought clinical attention to the issue of problematic Internet use, and Christiano Nabuco de Abreu, director of the Integrated Impulsive Disorders Outpatient Unit at the University of San Paulo, provide with “Internet Addiction - A Handbook and Guide to Evaluation and Treatment” an up to date overview on Internet addiction, the treatment options and strategies for prevention.

This book on Amazon.com >>

 

Caught in the Net

by Kimberley S. Young

“Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the Signs of Internet Addiction - and a Winning Strategy for Recovery” by  Kimberley S. Young was the first book to identify the problem of Internet addiction, and to offer help to "online-aholics." The book explores the problem of Internet addiction and provides answers to questions such as: Why is the Internet so seductive? Who gets addicted to it? What are the signs of addictive behavior? and What can you do to help yourself or your loved ones break the addiction?

This book on Amazon.com >>

 

Cyber Junkie: Escape the Gaming and Internet Trap

by Kevin Roberts

Back Cover:
“More and more people are isolating themselves, turning their backs on reality, ignoring their family and friends, and even losing their jobs due to their excessive use of video games and the Internet. In this groundbreaking book, Kevin Roberts gives compulsive gamers and surfers - and their familiy and friends - a step-by-step guide for recovery.”

This book on Amazon.com >>

 

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References

Selected reviews. Please note that the complete list of references to each of the topics listed above can be found in the respective articles.

Internet Use Disorder - Reviews

Cash H, Rae CD, Steel AH, Winkler A (2012). Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice. Curr Psychiatry Rev 8(4): 292–8.
Abstract >>
Full text (pdf) >>

Chakraborty K, Basu D, Vijaya Kumar KG (2010). Internet addiction: consensus, controversies, and the way ahead. East Asian Arch Psychiatry 20(3): 123-32.
Abstract >>
Full text (pdf) >>

Huang XQ, Li MC, Tao R (2010). Treatment of Internet Addiction. Current Psychiatry Reports 12(5): 462-70.
Abstract >>

Petersen KU, Weymann N, Schelb Y, Thiel R, Thomasius R (2009). Pathological Internet use - epidemiology, diagnostics, co-occurring disorders and treatment [Article in German]. Fortschr Neurol Psychiatr 77(5):263-71.
Abstract >>

Peukert P, Sieslack S, Barth G, Batra A (2010). Internet- and computer game addiction: Phenomenology, comorbidity, etiology, diagnostics and therapeutic implications for the addictives and their relatives. Psychiatr Prax 37(5): 219-24.
Abstract >>

Shaw M, Black DW (2008). Internet addiction: definition, assessment, epidemiology and clinical management. CNS Drugs 22(5): 353-65.
Abstract >>

van Rooij AJ, Zinn MF, Schoenmakers TM, van de Mheen D (2012). Treating Internet Addiction With Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy: A Thematic Analysis of the Experiences of Therapists. Int J Ment Health Addiction 10(1): 69-82.
Abstract >>

Winkler A, Dörsing B, Rief W, Shen Y, Glombiewski JA (2013). Treatment of internet addiction: A meta-analysis. Clinical Psychology Review 33: 317–329.
Abstract >>

Wölfling K, Bühler M, Leménager T, Mörsen C, Mann K (2009). Gambling and internet addiction. Review and research agenda [Article in German]. Nervenarzt 80(9): 1030–9.
Abstract >>

Young KS (1998 a). Caught in the net. How to recognize the signs of internet addiction and a winning strategy for recovery. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
This book on Amazon.com >>

Young KS (1998 b). Internet addiction: The emergence of a new clinical disorder. Cyberpsychol Behav 1(3): 237–44.
Abstract >>

 

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Last updated: 02-13-2014
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