Internet addiction: evaluation and treatment
Practitioners need to be aware of new type of addiction
- By: Kimberly S Young
The internet is a neutral device originally designed to facilitate research among academic and military agencies. The way some people have come to use this medium, however, has created a stir among the mental health community, and internet addiction has become a serious topic of discussion. Addictive use of the internet is a new phenomenon that many practitioners are unaware of and consequently unprepared to treat. Some therapists are unfamiliar with the internet, making its seductive powers difficult to understand. Sometimes its impact on the afflicted person's life is minimised as many practitioners do not recognise the legitimacy of the disorder. This editorial reviews the diagnostic criteria, associated features, subtypes, consequences, and treatment implications of internet addiction, to help prepare clinicians on these issues in practice.
The best method clinically to detect compulsive use of the internet is to compare it with criteria for other established addictions. Of all the