Take a moment to think about how much you use the Internet. You’re probably using it right now to read this article and have other tabs open. Majority of people spend hours online every day and this might be contributing to something psychologists are calling “Internet Addiction Disorder”.
The isn’t an official disorder, however, professionals in the medical space have been debating it since the rise of the Internet in the 90s. The debate is whether to add it to the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) which is used by everyone in the field.
There are talks of this changing and the most recent version of the manual, does include something called “Internet Gaming Disorder”. For some people playing online games, their brain creates pathways like those struggling with drug addiction.
There are 3 types of Internet Addiction. These are excessive gaming, sexual preoccupation and email/text messaging. All of these have 4 similarities to drug addiction: excessive use, withdrawal, tolerance and negative repercussions.
However, on the other side of the spectrum, it can be said that internet addiction goes alongside another mental disorder. One study found that of 30 people who showed pathological Internet use, 27 suffered from a psychiatric disorder.
Internet Addiction may as well be another side effect of a mental disorder.