Social Media, AddictionAn interesting article posted on the BBC News Health page stating that web addicts have brain changes similar to people addicted on drugs and alcohol. A study group of 35 men and women were scanned using a special MRI scan and of the seventeen that were classed as having Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD) all showed disruption to connections in nerve fibres linking brain areas involved in emotions, decision making and self control.

The diagnostic criteria for Internet addiction used in the study is as follows:-

  • Do you feel preoccupied with the internet?
  • 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 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 distressed mood (eg feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety and depression)?

Participants answering yes to questions 1 to 5 and at least one more answer were classed as suffering from Internet Addiction Disorder

Source: Young’s Diagnostic Questionnaire for Internet Addiction adapted by Beard and Wolf

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