Internet Addictive Disorder (IAD)
Diagnostic Criteria

A maladaptive pattern of Internet use, leading to clinically significant impairment or distress as manifested by three (or more) of the following, occurring at any time in the same 12-month period:

(I) tolerance, as defined by either of the following:

(A) A need for markedly increased amounts of time on Internet to achieve satisfaction

(B) markedly diminished effect with continued use of the same amount of time on Internet


(II) withdrawal, as manifested by either A or B below

(A) the characteristic withdrawal syndrome, 1, 2 and 3 below

(1) Cessation of (or reduction) in Internet use that has been heavy and prolonged.

(2) Two (or more) of the following, developing within several days to a month after Criterion 1:

(a) psychomotor agitation
(b) anxiety
(c) obsessive thinking about what is happening on the Internet
(d) fantasies or dreams about the Internet
(e) voluntary or involuntary typing movements of the fingers

(3) The symptoms in Criterion 2 cause distress or impairment in social, occupational or another important area of functioning

(B) Use of Internet or a similar on-line service is engaged in to relieve or avoid withdrawal symptoms


(III) Internet is often accessed more often or for longer periods of time than was intended

(IV) There is a persistent desire or unsuccessful efforts to cut down or control Internet use

(V) A great deal of time is spent in activities related to Internet use (e.g., buying Internet books, trying out new WWW browsers, researching Internet vendors, organizing files of downloaded materials.)

(VI) Important family, social, occupational, or recreational activities are given up or reduced in duration and/or frequency because of Internet use

(VII) Internet use is continued despite knowledge of having a persistent or recurrent physical, family, social, occupational, or psychological problem that is likely to have been caused or exacerbated by Internet use (e.g., sleep deprivation, marital difficulties, lateness for early morning appointments, neglect of occupational duties, or feelings of abandonment in significant others)


Go to Dr. Ivan's Depression Central

Revised 3/23/02