Do you feel tethered to your computer? Do you feel like you just can't pull away and unplug? Has your time on the Internet come to replace things or relationships you once loved? If you feel like your Internet use is affecting your health and overall well-being, take this quiz. Learn the warning signs of Internet addiction.
A Growing Epidemic
Studies on Internet addiction originated in the US by Dr. Kimberly Young, who presented the first research on Internet addiction in 1996 at the American Psychological Association’s annual conference held in Toronto in her paper Internet Addiction: The Emergence of a New Disorder. Since then, studies have documented Internet addiction in a growing number of countries such as Italy, Pakistan, Iran, Germany, and the Czech Republic. Reports also indicate that Internet addiction has become a serious public health concern in China, Korea, and Taiwan.
Treatment centers have emerged across the US and abroad. Dr. Kimberly Young has likened Internet addiction to addictive syndromes similar to impulse-control disorders not unlike drug addiction. She developed the Internet Addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire (IADQ) to diagnose the disorder. Meeting five of the following symptoms were considered necessary to be diagnosed.
Internet Addiction Quiz
1. Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet, think about a previous online activity or anticipate the next online session?
2. Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?
3. Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use?
4. Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use?
5. Do you stay online longer than originally intended?
6. Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?
7. Have you lied to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?
8. Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (like feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety or depression?)
Other Symptoms Include
• Failed attempts to control behavior
• Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and Internet activities
• Neglecting friends and family
• Neglecting sleep to stay online
• Being dishonest with others
• Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of online behavior
• Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome
• Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities
I know I'm in trouble when it comes to Internet Addiction! Especially the part about neglecting sleep to stay online. What about you?
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