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