Issues for DSM-V: Internet Addiction

Internet addiction appears to be a common disorder that merits inclusion in DSM-V. Conceptually, the diagnosis is a compulsive-impulsive spectrum disorder that involves online and/or offline computer usage and consists of at least three subtypes: excessive gaming, sexual preoccupations, and e-mail/text messaging. All of the variants share the following four components:

  1. excessive use, often associated with a loss of sense of time or a neglect of basic drives,
  2. withdrawal, including feelings of anger, tension, and/or depression when the computer is inaccessible,
  3. tolerance, including the need for better computer equipment, more software, or more hours of use, and
  4. negative repercussions, including arguments, lying, poor achievement, social isolation, and fatigue.

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By Jerald J. Block