Internet Use Disorder (IUD), which is internet addiction, may soon be included as an actual mental health disorder. Many studies have been conducted to understand what IUD is, how it works, and how to cure it. Research shows that people with internet addiction have different mind control than normal people. They suffer similar brain symptoms as heroin and cocaine addicts; like problems in emotion processing and concentration. Similar to any other kind of addiction, internet addiction has symptoms.
Symptoms of IUD
1- Anxiety when the internet is not available.
2- The urge to spend more and more time on the internet
3- Loss of other interests
4- Unsuccessful attempts to quit
5- Use of the internet to escape dysphoric mood.
Since internet addiction is a lot similar to food addiction -you can’t just stop because you need it- the treatment is to manage your internet use. However, the problem is some people find it easier to quit rather controlling their use.
Internet Addiction Statistics
In a Chinese study, teens classified as highly addicted to the internet were twice as likely to also display self-injurious behavior.
Xie et al., 2010
1.5% – 3.5% of German teens show signs of internet addiction or excessive use. Among these adolescents, internet addiction is correlated with higher rates of depression, anxiety, and lower school achievement.
Peukert et al., 2010
The prevelance rate of internet addiction for studies published in North America and Europe ranges from 1.5% to 8.2%.
Weinstein et al., 2010
In 2005, just 9 – 15 million people in the United States used the internet every day. Every three months the rate of use was increasing by 25%.
Wieland et al., 2005
Internet users in Greece have an internet addiction prevalence rate of 8.2%. Most internet addicts are males who play online games and access internet cafés.
Konstantinos et al., 2008
10% of South Korean youth are considered to be at high risk for internet addiction.
Park et al., 2009
In addition to demonstrating other criteria, it has been proposed that a diagnosis of internet addiction must include symptoms for at least 3 months and at least 6 hours of non-essential internet use per day.
Tao et al., 2010
96% of teenagers in China use IM and 10% can be classified as IM addicts.
Leund et al., 2009
41% of self-selected online gamers play video games to escape and 7% are classified as being at risk of developing a psychological and behavioral dependence on online computer games.
Hussain et al., 2009
1% of Norwegians are addicted to the internet. An additional 5% are at risk of developing internet addiction. The highest rate of addiction is in the 16-29 year old group (4% addicted, 19% at risk).
Bakkan et al., 2008
11% of South Korean students are considered to be at risk for internet addiction.
Park et al., 2008
The prevalence of problematic internet use among South African technology workers is 4% (compared to 2% of a control group of non-IT workers).
Thatcher et al., 2008
7% of Chinese elementary and middle school students suffer from internet addiction. The rate is higher in males (10%) than in females (4%). The rate is higher for rural students (8%) than for city students (5%).
Liu et al., 2010
Only 1% of college-level introductory and abnormal psychology books make reference to internet addiction.
Adolescents who play more than one hour of console or Internet video games may have more or more intense symptoms of ADHD or inattention than those who do not
Chan et al., 2006
15% of MMORPG players meet the criteria for Internet addiction. Less than 1% of the players surveyed indicated that they have sought professional help for Internet addiction.
18% of British students were considered to be pathological internet users, whose excessive use of the internet was causing academic, social, and interpersonal problems. Students addicted to the internet were found to have lower self-esteem than other students.
Niemz et al., 2005
84% of college counselors “agree” or “strongly agree” that Internet Addiction Disorder is a legitimate disorder. 93% of college counselors have “some, but not sufficient training” or “no training” on diagnosing internet addiction disorder. 94% of college counselors have “no training” or “some, but not sufficient training” on the treatment of internet addiction disorder.
Among daily users of the internet, 5% of boys and girls from Finland were classified as being addicted to the internet.
Kaltiala-Heino et al., 2004