Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is a behavioral addiction involving excessive use of online applications to an extent that affects the life and functionality of the person.  Internet addiction, too, includes online gaming behavior and is referred to in the DSM-5 under the category of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders, along with "gambling disorder", which has so far been recognized as the only behavioral addiction. Internet addiction is a behavioral addiction involving excessive use of online applications to an extent that affects the life and functionality of the person. Internet addiction, too, includes online gaming behavior and is referred to in the DSM-5 under the category of Substance Use and Addictive Disorders, along with "gambling disorder", which has so far been recognized as the only behavioral addiction.

Mar 10, 2024 - 13:55
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Internet Addiction
INTERNET ADDICTION

The Symptoms of Internet Addiction

1. Clarity: Internet becomes the central to their lives in people who consult with internet addiction complaints.

2. Tolerance: The time of internet usage increases steadily since it becomes insufficient over time. It is the criterion that distinguishes internet addiction from excessive internet usage.

3. Change of Mood: Depression is about overcoming the negative emotions such as feeling worthless, running away the stress of life, aiming at surge of adrenaline.

4. Loss of Control: It is the loss of control over their behavior due to addiction, and therefore it has negative consequences for social life.

5. Deprivation: Interruption of internet usage can cause the deprivation symptoms. The person who needs the internet to secrete dopamine can experience various symptoms during the abstinence process, from depressive mood to tremors, sweating, digestive system problems, just like with substance abuse.

A study comparing extreme online gaming with the use of amphetamines found that they act in parallel in terms of neurochemical.

6. Denial and Secretion: People are in tendency to secrete their internet usage, and they often do not accept that they can't cope with their addictions.

7. Problems and Conflict: The Internet addiction can lead to physical, psychological and interpersonal problems. For example, vitamin deficiency, illnesses caused by inadequate self-care, depressed mood, weakened social connections.

8. Relapse: The relapse that is seen in people who consult with internet addiction complaints should not have the opinion that it is a failure, in fact, it is a deviation. The relapse, too, is the part of recovery.

The Risk Factors of Internet Addiction

1. Age: When children are exposed to the internet at a very early age, it increases the likelihood of developing an addiction in later ages. Similarly, adolescents who have not yet completed identity-building are also learning to build their identity via the Internet and to use the Internet to learn how to govern their emotions. Although adults use it more to escape the difficult issues of everyday life, they have more to lose than other age groups (work, marriage, etc.).

2. Gender: The internet addiction is more common when it comes to men. It is put forward that the reason is that they do not pay attention to social activities such as talking as much as women do. The fact that men who are unable to meet their needs in society, such as being strong, are able to do this in online games also increases their likelihood of addiction.

In the same way, female internet addicts search online for things they can't get in real life. Women have more possibility to use internet as a virtual communication because they care about social activities more than men.

3. Profile: People who have internet addiction are often found to be socially nourished people who are overly lonely.

Also, people who have internet addiction may lose their self-esteem by thinking "It's my fault because I can't cope with my behavior” even though they are aware of their illnesses.

Situational risk factors such as being exploited, not being able to cope with the stresses of everyday life, studentship, and the structural characteristics of the Internet play a role in developing addiction among vulnerable, addictive people.

Internet Addiction Case Example

This quote shows how a parent's own internet occupation leads to the same problem in his teenage son:

"I’ve made my whole family addicted.'' I mean, I got these laptops for them. I would have possibility to play more, then. So my wife became addicted to things like the Sims, my son to the X-Box, and my other daughter to Webkinz, and I was feeling full of happiness. Everyone was addicted to their own technological device. I made all of these things. I had five hours to play beforehand. This was my own strategy to create more time. And the unfortunate consequence of this was that my 13-year-old son became incredibly addicted to Call of Duty. That’s why I had to keep him away. So I've reduced playing time from an hour a day to an hour on weekends. But it didn't work because he was going to be interested to play all week for three hours on the weekend. He was going to watch the YouTube videos of Call of Duty, and he was going to search for how its math works. He was obsessed with it. Later, I was aware of his obsession when he woke up at 4 am prior to his football tournament. This kid sleeps until it is 10 o’clock. You can not move him away.

You can not wake him up. He sleeps like a rock. But he was getting out of bed at 4 am if it is the time of playing. I said that: ''What are you doing ? You have a football tournament on the weekend!'' And here comes an answer: ‘’Dad, I use my three-hour time well because I can not play at this weekend!’’ This story refers to an addicted person, isn’t it? He was in need of using three-hours time because he would not able to play due to his football tournament. He was worn out now. Furthermore, he was run out of all his dopamine. So, he was unable to play football good enough. He was getting fat and was unable to have a good performance in the football. So, his marks fell below 3.0. ‘’

The Treatment of Internet Addiction

Although there is insufficient literature research on the treatment of Internet addiction, some studies have investigated the relationship between internet addiction and variables such as time spent online, depression, anxiety, adaptation to treatment, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and psychopharmacology. Studies have shown that there is no significant difference between psychological and pharmacological therapies, and there is also no meaningful difference between CBT and other psychological interventions. It is shown that psychopharmacology and CBT combination have the most powerful effect.

Reference

Kuss DJ, Griffiths MD. (2020). Psikoterapide internet bağımlılığı. (Çev. A. Koruyucu). Ayrıntı Yayınevi. (Orijinal yayın tarihi 2015).

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Zeynep Turgut Herkese merhaba. Ben Zeynep Turgut. Şu anda Amasya üniversitesi İngilizce mütercim tercümanlık 4. Sınıf öğrencisiyim. Okuduğum bölüm bana her konuda gelişim imkanı sunuyor. Bölümüm adına bir çok deneyim elde etmeye çalıştım. Bunların arasında gönüllü olarak yaptığım işlerde vardı. Ayrıca bu ekibin bir parçası olmaktan çok mutluyum.