Indicators of Internet addiction

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Kimberly Young developed the Internet Addiction Diagnostic Questionnaire, or IADQ, and a quiz is on www.netaddiction.com. Meeting five symptoms are necessary to be diagnosed.

• Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet -- think about previous online activity or anticipate next online session?

• Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?

• Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back or stop Internet use?

• Do you feel restless, moody, depressed or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use?

• Do you stay online longer than originally intended?

• Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?

• Have you lied to family members, a therapist or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?

• Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)?

Other symptoms include:

• Failed attempts to control behavior

• Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and Internet activities

• Neglecting friends and family

• Neglecting sleep to stay online

• Being dishonest with others

• Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious or depressed as a result of online behavior

• Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome

• Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities

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