Internet Addiction Proposed Criteria

Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) Proposed Criteria

By Tao, Huang, Mai

Internet Addiction Disorder Symptom Criterion

  • PREOCCUPATION WITH THE INTERNET (thinks about previous online activity or anticipates next online session)
  • WITHDRAWAL, as manifested by a dysphoric mood, anxiety, irritability and boredom after several days without Internet activity

At least one (or more) of the following:

  • TOLERANCE, marked increase in Internet use required to achieve satisfaction
  • PERSISTENT DESIRE and/or unsuccessful attempts to control, cut back or discontinue Internet use
  • CONTINUED EXCESSIVE USE of Internet despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical or psychological problems likely to have been caused or exacerbated by Internet use
  • LOSS OF INTEREST, previous hobbies, entertainment as a direct result of, and with the exception of, Internet use
  • USES THE INTERNET TO ESCAPE or relieve a dysphoric mood (e.g. feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety)

Exclusion Criterion:

  • Excessive Internet use is not better accounted for by psychotic disorders or bipolar I disorder

Clinically Significant Impairment Criterion:

  • Functional impairments (reduced social, academic, working ability), including loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunities

Course Criterion:

  • Duration of Internet addiction must have lasted for an excess of 3 months, with at least 6 hours of Internet usage (non-business/non-academic) per day

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