Internet Addiction Revisited

By Ofer Zur, Ph.D.

Internet Addiction

Internet use, overuse, abuse and addiction have been among the most intense areas of psychological inquiry in the last decade. As millions of people send billions of messages and posts on a daily basis, it becomes increasingly difficult to detect the line between what is addiction and what is a normal part of living in the digital age.

Dr. Kimberley Young is one of the most prominent experts in the world on Internet Addiction and related subjects. She founded the Center for Internet Addiction in 1995 and originated research on Internet Addiction in the US. In 1996, she presented the first paper on the topic at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference entitled, “Internet Addiction: The Emergence of a New Disorder.” Dr. Young has developed several courses and materials available through the Zur Institute on Internet Addiction.

The Internet Addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire (IADQ) is used to diagnose the disorder. While Internet Addiction is not a DSM disorder (and will not be included in the upcoming DSM-5), the widely used IADQ is a helpful way to make an assessment.

At least five of the following symptoms must be present in order to make a diagnosis of Internet Addiction.

Does the client:

  • Feel preoccupied with the Internet (think about previous online activity or anticipate the next online session)?
  • Feel the need to use the Internet for increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?
  • Repeatedly make unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use?
  • Feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use?
  • Stay online longer than originally intended?
  • Jeopardize or risk the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?
  • Lie to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?
  • Use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)?

We have revised and updated our online course:

Internet Addiction: How to Assess and Treat the Disorder

The revised Internet Addiction Online Course is designed to teach the participants:

  • The prevalence of Internet addiction across cultures using current literature
  • The current etiologic models that cause Internet addiction
  • Strategies in assessment and specialized tools in diagnosis of Internet addiction
  • The various subtypes of Internet addiction including cybersexual addiction, Internet gambling addiction, and online gaming
  • The psychosocial and situational factors that may predispose someone to become addicted to Internet use
  • The newest cognitive-behavioral interventions specially designed to treat the Internet-addicted client
Online Courses By Dr. Young
TeleMental Health Courses and Certificate

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