Global Internet Addiction Disorder Trends; A Brief Summary of Research and Practice, Symptoms, Causes Effects and Diagnosis
Internet addiction disorder (IAD) is a broad term that refers to an impulse control disorder characterized by excessive internet use in chat rooms, dating sites, scrolling through social media, playing online games, watching YouTube videos, and so on. Internet is equal to the problem? As people know the use of the Internet is a very common part of day-to-day routine. But nowadays the overuse of the internet can turn into internet addiction disorder (IAD) because of the compulsive need to spend a great deal of time on the Internet, to the point where maintaining online relationships, work, and health are allowed to suffer. According to medical conditions Internet addiction exists as a mental disorder in its own right. To aid treatment, professionals who recognize internet addiction tend to classify it as either an obsessive-compulsive disorder or an impulse control disorder. Compulsive computer use, pathological internet use, and internet dependence are all terms for internet addiction. The average person spends 1 hour and 40 minutes per day on social media. Over 50% of Americans aged 30-49 have a social media addiction. Over 60% of men and over 55% of women are addicted to social media. Over 33% of the world's population uses social media. Younger people are spending more time on the internet than the older generation, with young women spending the greatest amount of time using the internet worldwide, internet addiction has been estimated probably at 6% considering that only about 39% of the world's population has internet access. According to a study of the digital habits of people worldwide, South Africans spend most of their time on the internet. The average internet user in South Africa spent at least 9.5 hours online per day in 2022.
“The Global Internet Addiction Disorder Market Size is projected to register a CAGR of 11.45% during the forecast period (2023-2033), according to Spherical Insights and Consulting”.
Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) Types:
But not only the consumption of internet addiction there are some types of addiction like;
- Cyber - relationship addiction
Cyber-relationship is an addiction to social media, social networking, chat rooms, texting, messaging, and video chats to the point where virtual, online friends become more important than real-life relationships with family and friends.
Nowadays cybersex activities include not only viewing or downloading pornography along with masturbation but also reading and writing sexually explicit letters and stories. Texting or messaging to set up personal meetings with someone, placing ads to meet sexual partners, visiting sexually oriented chat rooms and there are lots of fake illegal websites and chatrooms available on the internet which can cause Cyber Crime.
- Net compulsions
Net compulsions are online activities that can be extremely harmful, such as online gambling, trading stocks, online auction (such as eBay), and compulsive online shopping. These habits can have a major impact on one's financial stability and disrupt job-related duties.
- Gaming addiction
Playing games is not an addiction but continuously playing games for hours cause a mental disorder. Psychological risk factors related to internet gaming disorder include Impulsivity, Low self-control, and Anxiety.
But apart from addiction use of the internet is most important for the world in 2024 because the technology is growing fast and most of the countries are dependent on the internet for their economic growth.
These are the top 10 countries with their percentage of dependency on the internet in day-to-day life;
- India – 82%
- Great Britain – 78%
- China – 77%
- Germany – 73%
- United States – 73%
- Russia – 66%
- Spain – 65%
- France – 64%
- Italy – 62%
- Japan – 62%
What Effects Does Internet Addiction Have on the Brain and Body?
IAD affects the parts of the brain linked to pleasure and rewards, just like other forms of addiction. Dopamine, one of the brain's "feel good" neurotransmitters, is released when specific brain regions are stimulated. In addition to further enjoyable neurochemicals. These brain's pleasure and reward centers may become tolerant to the addictive activity over time, in this case, internet use. After developing tolerance, the behavior must be continued for the person to feel the same initial pleasure. Furthermore, if a person stops participating in the behavior, they may experience symptoms of withdrawal since their brain will no longer be able to trigger the reward circuit.
Signs of an Addiction to the Internet
The symptoms of internet addiction are not widely agreed upon because it is not formally recognized as a mental health issue.
- Increased capacity for tolerance: As with other behavioral addictions, if someone finds themselves using the internet more and more, they may become too reliant on it.
- Excessive consumption: More than two hours a day for kids under the age of eighteen is harmful, according to experts. Adults do not have an official designation because many of them work or study online.
- A negative impact on the economy: If your overuse of the internet begins to interfere with your regular obligations, activities, and chores, you may be spending too much time online.
- Withdrawal: Stress, rage, and depression are common withdrawal symptoms among behavioral addiction disorders.
Addiction to the internet in children
Considering that children between the ages of 8 and 18 spend 44.5 hours a week on screens on average, parents are becoming more and more concerned that their children's excessive internet usage is depriving them of life experiences. A quarter of young people say they are "addicted to video games" (31% of men and 13% of women). These are the findings of a Harris Interactive survey from 2007 that included 1,178 American kids and teenagers (ages 8 to 18) and documented the incidence of pathological video game use across the country.
The psychological effects of children's internet addiction
Concern over children becoming addicted to the internet is growing. In the modern world, having access to the internet is essential, and it plays a significant role in kids' education. It is also a very informative and entertaining medium. But for many kids, those same characteristics also make it a tempting haven. In an online chat room, they can assume any identity, and they can engage in exhilarating and demanding games against players from across the world. One can travel to another world by clicking on a mouse, where all of the things one hopes they could be, do, or experience are real and the difficulties they see in their real lives are absent. Youngsters who experience inadequate social and coping skills or who do not have satisfying or caring connections are more likely to develop unsuitable or excessive online habits. They turn to invisible strangers in online chat rooms in search of the attention and company they lack in their real lives because they feel alone, and alienated, and may find it difficult to make new friends. They may come from homes where there are serious issues, or they may be bullied or find it difficult to make friends at school or in extracurricular activities. In these situations, they turn to the internet as a coping mechanism.
What Indicates a Problem with Internet Addiction?
Both physical and emotional signs can indicate an Internet addiction, however, each person's symptoms may be different. In essence, these are red flags that an addiction might be taking hold. It's not too late if you think you or a loved one is exhibiting these signs. To get our assistance, all you need to do is give us a call.
Internet addiction disorder's aftereffects
Addiction has negative effects on the addict as well as those close to them, regardless of the substance or behavior being abused. The effects of IAD include problems with mental health as well as social challenges. Research has indicated that a notable proportion of individuals suffering from internet addiction had co-occurring mental health conditions including anxiety or depression. There is disagreement about which came around first: mental illness or internet addiction. Furthermore, IAD can have detrimental social effects, primarily as a result of interruptions to one's schedule that arise from excessive and obsessive internet use. IAD can impair and harm social interaction, career performance, and academic achievement. Daily rituals can also be disrupted and harmed, including maintaining good personal hygiene, eating a healthy diet, exercising, and spending time with loved ones. Although these social disturbances might seem innocuous at first glance, they are not. IAD can have a devastating effect on a person's life if it is not addressed.
Internet addiction disorder treatment
Fortunately, there are successful interventions and IAD therapy choices available. Behavioral therapy is incredibly successful in pinpointing the root causes of addiction as well as providing dependable coping skills for reducing or stopping harmful behavioral patterns. The majority of therapies concentrate on teaching the addict healthier coping mechanisms for the various stressors (such as loneliness, anxiety, despair, and anxiety) that lead to internet addiction. Software that limits material and time can be used in conjunction with behavioral treatment to help addicts create reasonable boundaries, take responsibility for their actions, and manage their online time. Certain software has demonstrated efficacy in limiting consumption; nevertheless, its best results come when combined with behavioral therapy. There aren't many support groups that focus solely on online addictions because they're still relatively new. However, support networks like Gamblers Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous can be helpful for people struggling with online addictions of a similar nature. For people who are addicted to the internet, another helpful resource is the recently formed Online Gamers Anonymous. There are online support groups as well, however, individuals with IAD are advised against relying solely on online therapy because it could make their condition worse. Caron takes pride in treating internet addiction disorders and other process addictions. To find out if there are co-occurring mental health issues or addiction interaction disorders, our skilled team of caring specialists conducts a comprehensive examination. co-morbidities exist, which enables us to customize a treatment plan for mental health issues for each patient. An extensive and customized addiction treatment plan is created after a thorough evaluation to ensure that each patient's unique needs are met. A treatment strategy for addiction may include family therapy, support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, or a different mix of therapies and services.
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