An internet addiction disorder is when you use the internet in an excessive and compulsive way. It could be that you can’t physically stop checking things online such as social media platforms. When your internet use starts to interfere with your daily life this is when it starts to become an addiction. If you start putting the internet before your relationships, your work or school it may be a problem.

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Internet addiction like other behavioural addictions, for many it fulfils the way the individual is feeling. Using the internet in a compulsive way may mean that they are getting pleasure from it. It may help them to cope with their emotions. They may be trying to escape from reality in their daily lives. Attempting to distract themselves from stress or anxiety in their lives.

There are many reasons why someone may become addicted to the internet.

Some experts have suggested that some people are predisposed to addictive behaviours because they don’t have enough dopamine receptors, or they aren’t making the right balance of serotonin with dopamine. These are two neurotransmitters that play a big role in your mood.

The effects of an internet addiction can be extremely harmful to the individual. These can be both physically and emotionally. These could include things like body aches, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, vision problems, insomnia and weight gain/loss.

It could have an impact on those around you as well. Damaging relationships and in turn effecting their metal health. Having an addiction often doesn’t just have an impact on the individual suffering but also the people surrounding that person.

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Signs and symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder may present themselves in both physical and emotional ways.

  • Depression
  • Dishonesty
  • Feelings of guilt
  • Anxiety
  • Feelings of Euphoria when using the computer
  • Inability to Prioritize or Keep Schedules
  • Isolation
  • No Sense of Time
  • Defensiveness
  • Avoidance of Work
  • Agitation
  • Mood Swings
  • Fear
  • Loneliness
  • Boredom with Routine Tasks
  • Procrastination

  • Backache
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Poor Nutrition (failing to eat or eating in excessively to avoid being away from the computer)
  • Poor Personal Hygiene (e.g., not bathing to stay online)
  • Neck Pain
  • Dry Eyes and other Vision Problems
  • Weight Gain or Loss