Internet has been formally recognized as a disorder by the American Psychological Association but has not yet been added as an official diagnosis to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). The amount of time is not the important factor in Internet Addiction, rather it is the ways in which a person’s internet use is interfering with their daily functions. This interference can be with their social life, school work or job related tasks at work.
Individuals can be at greater risk of internet or computer addiction if they suffer from anxiety, depression, if they suffer from other addictions, if they lack social support, are unhappy teenagers, are less mobile or socially active than they were or are stressed. Warning signs include losing track of time, having trouble completing tasks at home, work or school, Isolation from family and friends, feeling guilty or defensive about internet use, and a sense of euphoria while involved with internet activities.
There are many steps one can take to get Internet use under control. Starting on your own can be a great start, but it is important to get outside support as well. First, recognize any underlying problems that support your addiction, such as depression, stress or anxiety, or problems with drugs or alcohol. Build your coping skills to weather the stresses and strains of daily life without resorting to compulsive behavior. Strengthen your support network, the more relationships you have in real life, the less you will need the internet for social interaction. Modify your internet one step at a time. Start with keeping a log