Internet Addiction Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment

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Behavioral addiction is defined as the addiction form that originates from a continued engagement on a daily action that leads to compulsion that, in turn, leads to a non-substance related behavior change. The specific behavioral addiction harms one’s mental, social, financial, or even physical well-being (Nower & Anthony, 2020). This paper is aimed at discussing internet addiction disorder that is among the most known forms of behavioral addiction disorders in our society.

Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD)

Internet addiction disorder is a form of behavioral disorder that originates from a high dependency on technology in general. For example, it may result due to much compulsion to internet-related components, or other forms of media-related addictions such as radio and television addiction. It has become a very troubling thing in the current generation, which is highly surrounded by all sorts of technological improvements for the last decades (Miniwatts Marketing Group, 2016). Most of the young age people have found themselves in internet addiction and not able to get out of the problem with ease. One of the most common forms of internet addiction disorder in the current society is internet gaming disorder among the youth.


Internet addiction disorders have been gaining traction mainly through the mental fields and have been considered as one of the current disorders that need more research. Therefore, it is evident that there is no prevailing form of standardized diagnosis of this form of the disorder that has been effectively used or discovered due to the general variability in this disorder and the steady increase of new cases within the population. However, the most common and accepted method of diagnostic assessment of this disorder has been proposed in the article CyberPsychology and Behavior by Beard’s KW (2005).

The article proposes that the best way to identify the form of disorder in our population is to follow five main diagnostic criteria: the following. First, the person in the study is much preoccupied with technology, for example, the internet. Secondly, the person has much need to depend on the internet to gain satisfaction. Thirdly, the affected has made efforts to end the addiction unsuccessfully or reduce (Beard’s,2016). Fourth is the affected person irritated, restless, or depressed upon trying to control internet addiction. Lastly, the affected person spends time longer on the internet than intended. Beard also suggested during the diagnosis of this form of the disorder, either one of the following can be present. Both the person has risked losing the job or career, a good relationship just because of the internet. Second, the person tried to lie to their friends, family, or therapist to hide their internet involvement. Lastly, the person uses the internet as a self-relieving form for, for example, depression and a way to avoid problems. Also, the other assessment methods of diagnosis of IAD are Young’s Internet Addiction Test and Compulsive Internet Use Scale (CIUS)

Risk Factors

Generally, people with the problem of internet addiction face the challenge of feeling socially isolated. In most cases, Internet disorder patients usually have difficulties maintaining social relationships and have little time for creating these relationships with their peers (Nower & Anthony, 2020). However, most of the studies have shown that people with the problem of IAD usually have a considerable risk of mental health conditions such as substance use disorders, hostility, depression, social isolation, anxiety, and impulse management issues.

Dual Diagnosis

The term dual diagnosis describes one’s simultaneous experience from a substance use disorder and a mental disorder. Most of the IAD people usually have complications of co-occurring disorders, such as much involvement in substance use like alcoholism and other difficulties such as gambling disorder (Nower & Anthony, 2020). Such cases have led to the availability of severe internet addiction disorders in our society.

Any other concern or concept found pertinent during research.

The main concern from research about the issue of internet addiction disorder is that disorders exist on its own or are symptoms that result from other underlying conditions (Nower & Anthony, 2020). Also, many researchers still have a concern that brings the question about the exact problem of excessive internet dependency. They often ask, is the problem an impulse-control disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, an addiction.


From research and documentaries, the first step to getting involved in treating internet addiction disorder is identification and recognition that a complication exists. However, most of the professionals argue that the treatment of internet addiction disorders can be achieved through medication. The idea involves the treatment of addiction disorders, such as depression and anxiety, and resolves internet addiction disorder during the treatment approach (Vennela & Rao, 2020). For example, a study shows that the use of anti-anxiety medications affects the amount of time spent on surfing the internet and, at most, reducing the hours gradually. Elsewhere, research and studies have shown that through self-corrective behavior, ‘healing’ can be successfully achieved after some time. For example, the use of software that limits internet use ensures sites that can be accessed in a single moment. Besides, proper engagement in physical activities has been the right way of decreasing one’s dependency on the internet.

In conclusion, most of the professionals agree that total abstinence of the internet has not been an effective treatment method or correction of IAD. It is, therefore, a matter that needs more research as it has been escalating in the past decade up to date due to the increased rates of modernization. Thus, treatment for IAD should not only focus on eliminating internet dependency but incorporate other forms of therapy, criteria, and self-discipline to enhance the treatment program.

Cite this paper

Internet Addiction Disorder: Diagnosis and Treatment. (2020, Nov 23). Retrieved from https://samploon.com/internet-addiction-disorder-diagnosis-and-treatment/

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