Need a perfect paper? Place your first order and save 5% with this code:   SAVE5NOW

Does Internet Addiction Merit Classification as a Psychiatric Disorder?

Guo, Y., You, X., Gu, Y., Wu, G., & Xu, C. (2020). A moderated mediation model of the relationship between quality of social relationships and internet addiction: mediation by loneliness and moderation by dispositional optimism. Current Psychology39 (4), 1303-1313.

This peer-reviewed research journal offers significant yet debatable insight based on internet addiction. It mainly focuses primarily on the teenage and youth population who are most affected by internet addiction. Guo et al. argue that the onset of internet addiction is merely determined by the social relationships around an individual and is not necessarily classified as a psychiatric disorder. According to the journal, internet addiction is strongly propelled by the social aspect of loneliness as otherwise busy and social individuals are active and therefore do not have as much time for the internet. A psychiatric disorder requires a medical diagnosis and presents adverse effects on mood as well as behavior. Internet addiction itself does not have a causal effect that could cause these feelings, but what one view on the internet is likely to have a high impact on an individual, whether negative or positive. Therefore, Guo et al. argue that it is merely leaning towards being more of a bad habit than a psychiatric disorder. Thus contributory factors in the life of an individual push them to internet addiction; for instance, lack of friends has a role, especially for the young population. The internet is, at first, a readily available source of distraction.

The source uses the findings of college students from varying universities to determine that internet addiction is not merely an appearing condition in one’s life but is cultivated over time. For instance, youth that engaged in many outdoor activities such as sports and those who went partying often used the internet less than those who spent most of their time indoors. Therefore, being inactive will sway someone into using the internet. Consequently, the more they do it, the more they get used to the established routine, which could result in internet addiction. Acquiring spouses and friends who involve the individual in outdoor events is likely to get them off the internet, unlike forcing them to quit it. Low optimism, however, encourages internet addiction as these individuals lack the willpower to put in the effort to live normally and actively. The constant happenings of one’s life determine internet usage as time passes. Having to engage in life’s necessary activities such as working or examination can act as a factor in discouraging internet addiction. It is also essential to consider what the individual is doing on the internet, be it social media or gaming, so as to be able to locate the root of the matter at hand.

This source is highly credible as it is peer reviewed and therefore approved by multiple entities. The authors have a deeply existing background in psychology and medicine, thus making it very reliable. This peer-reviewed article is published in a medical journal which is in line with the related field of research. It is essential to understand the topic as it dissects deeply rooted details that expound on internet addiction and its causal factors. It further expands on the most affected population by using an actual life research activity, offering valid insight. In doing so, the source demonstrates the practical aspect of the subject matter and, in turn, makes the information extremely useful and crucial. There is an incorporation of a psychological factor that is central and backed up by the sociological reasons that are related to internet addiction.

Aspects of loneliness and boredom are most likely to lead to internet addiction and do not guarantee the same medical aspects caused by psychiatric disorders. Notable mentions in this source suggest that the matter could be more comprehensive than expected if the internet addiction is backed up by addiction to pornography or gaming.

Hussain, Z., & Pontes, H. M. (2018). Personality, internet addiction, and other technological addictions: A psychological examination of personality traits and technological addictions. In Psychological, social, and cultural aspects of Internet addiction (pp. 45-71). IGI Global.

This book details just why internet addiction is not a psychiatric disorder but a trait associated with its wide availability in the modern world and particular personalities as well. The onset of the internet came along with attributes, as there also came many devices that allow access to the internet, from countless types of computers, phones, iPods, and many more. Due to the fact that the internet has multiple time-consuming activities, one is then bound to turn to these activities when bored and engage in activities such as online chatting. Therefore, when one has nothing to do, they can establish different activities they enjoy partaking in. The internet has an allure as it allows anyone to be anyone they can be contrary from the daily aspects of life, the person could vary from any gender and have any imaginary life they seek. This allure could increase internet use as it is the new hobby most people prefer when idle as globalization enables people to find virtually anything online. Hussain et al. questions just where the border is between excessive use of the internet being considered an addiction or simply a hobby as people tend to overdo what they enjoy the most. Unlike other psychiatric disorders, it can simply get a diagnosis and treatment plan that could include medication.

Another important aspect of consideration by Hussain et al. is that internet addiction is more tied to different types of personalities than others. Hence, it is not a psychiatric disorder but a trait that aligns with the comfort areas of an individual. Conceptual and empirical insights link different personalities with the likelihood of overusing the internet. The complex nature of personalities is consequently an essential factor in addressing internet addiction as it differs significantly; for instance, an extroverted trait in an individual lowers the likelihood of excessive internet use. Extroverted individuals spend more time engaged in outdoor activities and associate with people more often and more efficiently. Therefore, they do not necessarily need an air-tight distraction such as the internet unless it is for essential purposes such as school work.

On the other hand, introverted individuals are likely to lean more towards activities they can do alone and in the house, asking it easy to overuse the internet as they do not often carry out outdoor activities. Therefore, Internet use will allow them to keep an eye on many things without directly engaging in them, making them more comfortable. Different internet users keep different profiles when doing online activities, and Hussain et al. dispute the likelihood that it is an addiction but a personality trait.

According to Hussain et al., the internet is merely a tool to project personality. Some people on the internet exhibit narcissistic traits towards different people and the information they disseminate. This act portrays a narcissistic personality, especially for individuals establishing an alias so that no one can identify them. In real life, these individuals are most likely to act differently and use the internet excessively to express their inner selves. The power the internet gives their personality is, therefore, the factor encouraging addiction.

This source offers credible and reliable insight as it is less than five years old. Besides, it is a published book by research scholars in the field of psychiatric disorders and especially those propelled by technology. The significant input that aligns with different personalities offers new insight into the growing field of internet research. The information in this source provides a lot of perspective regarding a view that is adamant that internet addiction is in line with personality traits and inner self rather than a psychiatric disorder.

Medenica, S., Račić, M., & Joksimović, V. (2015). Internet and computer addiction: “new age” disease of the 21st century.

This article written by Medenica et al. recognizes the severity of internet addiction on an individual’s usual way of life. The article presents a significant point of consideration, leaning towards the excessive use of the internet being a manifestation of a symptom that magnifies other psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression as well as impulse control disorder. Therefore, offering an insight suggesting that internet addiction is not a psychiatric disorder but could be caused by one as a means of escape. According to Medenica et al., internet addiction is recognized as a separate kind of distinct disorder that notably affects the everyday running of one’s life; therefore, despite failing to be recognized as a psychiatric disorder, it still presents signs of a separate problem. This article suggests that it is possible to detect an internet addiction and measures to help an individual overcome it. Thus, in establishing an internet addiction, it is vital to watch out for factors such as if it has caused a significant disruption in essential areas of life such as going to work and if it causes distress. Therefore neglecting crucial duties is a red flag that represents the existence of a severe problem.

However, this article recognizes the lack of enough information on internet addiction owing to the fact that its access has not been around for a long time. Therefore it is a developing field of consideration in psychology. Medenica et al. link internet addiction to the feel-good hormone dopamine in some cases, whereby one may seek happiness lacking in life from the internet instead of other healthy alternatives. It guarantees different aspects that an individual fails to have in real life, and they use it to be whoever they want to be. This article suggests that it is possible to adapt different personas on the internet without detection, and this aspect feels like a perfect escape for some individuals. However, this aspect points out a more rooted problem in the individual manifesting as internet addiction. Medenica et al. suggest that brain regions are tied to a reward and punishment system, which would significantly contribute to internet addiction. Suppose an individual gets pleasure from watching videos online or browsing through different aspects of social media. In that case, the brain could register it as a reward, and when in a position of boredom or outdoor activities, one is bound to want to be on the internet instead—failing to do so will the n result in a foul mood even toward those around the individual.

This article offers valuable insight into why internet addiction is not a psychiatric disorder but a problem nevertheless. It is reliable and credible as it is written by university psychology faculty members with extensive knowledge in this field of medicine. It is also relatively recent and is bound to help my research as it explains the nature of internet addiction besides merely failing to acknowledge it as a psychiatric disorder. It shines a light on the ongoing research targeting the more profound understanding of internet addiction while expounding the already existing knowledge on the matter in relation to different hormones and parts of the brain. Therefore this article significantly aids my research as it explains a narrowed field that relates the most to internet addiction. In line with the other sources, Medenica et al. establish that internet addiction is a widespread problem facing the young population more than any other age group. The overall presence of computers and phones that young people use for school, socializing as well as other widespread activities have made the internet easy to access at the fingertips, which has become a risk factor for internet addiction.

Mihordin, R. (2012). Behavioral addiction—quo Vadis?. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease200(6), 489-491.

This peer-reviewed article is published in the journal of nervous and mental disease. Mihordin expresses dissatisfaction with the use of the word addiction to describe the excessive use of the internet. Thus, according to the article, internet addiction leans towards undesirable behavior that, over time, proves to be quite harmful to an individual. However, he expresses the opinion that it does not meet the criteria to be viewed as a psychiatric disorder as it is very different from other psychiatric addiction problems such as drug and substance addiction. Mirrodin also emphasizes the fact that internet addiction is not fairly spread to the extent of affecting a broad age group when compared to drug and substance addiction. There is still a range of questions among the scientific community on whether several behavioral-based addictions should be treated like genuine mental problems. Alongside internet addiction, other problematic behaviors such as gambling and video gaming are also in question. However, the article notes that internet addiction clearly deviates from the usual life routine and fulfills life’s fundamental purposes. However, internet addiction fails to fit the criteria compared to the painful withdrawal symptoms of severe psychiatric disorders, particularly drug and substance. Therefore the undesirability of the behavior is outstanding but does not quite come off as a psychiatric disorder.

Further on, Mihordin questions the clinical relevance associated with internet addiction as there is no medication that can align with stopping an individual from excessive use of the internet. There are steps that can be put to use when attempting to address different types of addiction but cannot apply to an individual with internet addiction. The article recognizes the fact that taking an affected individual to a health facility is bound to achieve nothing in the situation as the only solution here is keeping them away from devices that allow the continued use of the internet. Therefore, the basis lies in regulation and finding multiple distractions. Mihordin expresses concern over several activities, especially those relating to leisure, such as internet use and exercising, which are referred to as addictions, and they lack any sensible relation to clinical relevance. Recognizing the problem is essential, but its classification does not fit under established psychiatric disorders. Therefore, suggesting that the use of a different label would be much better for the situation that is not “addiction .”Other activities that go with internet addiction involve impulse shopping behaviors, use of mobile phones, tanning, and so many others.

This article aligns itself with scholars, criticizing the addiction approach and therefore instituting a core argument that opposes the recognition of internet addiction as a clinical problem or psychiatric disorder. The other big question is whether these behaviors can actually be considered addictive in any way. Therefore, the use of the term addiction is not befitting as it would mean a diagnosis. Treatment choices would also be another interesting concern.

This article is credible and reliable as it is peer reviewed and also published in a medical journal. Additionally, it is less than ten years old, and the author, Mihordin, is a renowned scientific researcher and scholar. It provides helpful feedback based on the use of addiction in addressing the internet addiction concern while also comparing it to other clinically established psychiatric disorders such as drug and substance abuse which is critical to this research. Allowing comparison and gauging various insights on psychiatric disorders that are based on behavior aligning with internet use provides a guide to navigating the nature of the clinical aspect of addiction-related disorders. The biological element involved in terming something as addictive is vital.

Pontes, H. M., & Griffiths, M. D. (2014). Internet addiction disorder and internet gaming disorder are not the same. Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy5(4).

This article was published by Pontes et al. in the journal of research and therapy on why internet addiction is hard to view as a unified problem when it has so many entities that should be considered independent. Pontes et al. challenge the “existence” of internet addiction in general as it creates a range of questions in the first place. Scholars argue that it does not involve the ingestion of a psychoactive substance and therefore cannot classify as a disorder. There have been two varying sides on the matter, with one group insisting that it is a disorder and another adamantly believing it is not relevant enough to identify as one. Even among those who have believed it to be a disorder, the question that stands is if it should be considered to engulf several related excessive uses of online activities ranging from online gambling, pornography addiction, and cybersex addiction, among others. There is, however, a tremendous difference between addiction to internet activities and internet addiction itself despite it propelling the existence of the rest. There is, therefore, a difference between an internet gaming addiction and an internet addiction. Some of these addictions are mainly related with males while others are faced by females. Research among 2000 university students helped establish a strong empirical basis of evidence that aligns with people’s possibility of getting addicted to different activities over the internet.

Thus, making the internet addiction matter more complex as scholars argue whether all these should be classified under the one unifying entity or be regarded differently despite the internet involvement. Online chatting addiction for example, is more prominent to the female. Although all aspects of addiction in this case share similar characteristics and common features. To some scholars, the extensive use of the internet appears to establish itself as a choice that is irresponsible when it is let to stand in the way of regular day to day activities. This point of consideration then relates with why it is most common among young people who therefore have less responsibilities, busy schedules, or drive to achieve a lot of goals in life. This article argues that the fact that it is less of an adult problem and more of a youth problem shows that it can be outgrown when people have progressed in life to partake more responsibilities and hence, not necessarily a psychiatric disorder.

Pontes et al argues that while certain disorders are highly prominent among people of certain age groups, the fact that this one “dies” makes it not severe enough to diagnose or treat. If it was then widespread among people of different age groups it would have a more solid stance to be termed a psychiatric disorder.

This source proves to be reliable and credible as it is published after reviewing in a psychology journal. It has also referred to works from various excellent scholars from the field of psychiatric disorders. Pontes et al, consists of a credible research team in a psychology division in the UK. Additionally, this article was published less than 10 years ago and therefore can still provide useful information that relates to modern activities. Pontes et al, provides critical information important for the research as he sets a spotlight on the various forms of online activities that are arguably assumed or related with internet addiction, which makes it all more complex. Assessing different views from multiple scholars and scientists on the matter as n this article is necessary for the purpose of tracking the progress to the field over the years and therefore making it possible to arrive on an informed solution. Internet addiction constitutes exaggerated use of the internet but is much different from other activities considered to be psychiatric disorders.


Guo, Y., You, X., Gu, Y., Wu, G., & Xu, C. (2020). A moderated mediation model of the relationship between quality of social relationships and internet addiction: mediation by loneliness and moderation by dispositional optimism. Current Psychology39(4), 1303-1313.

Hussain, Z., & Pontes, H. M. (2018). Personality, internet addiction, and other technological addictions: A psychological examination of personality traits and technological addictions. In Psychological, social, and cultural aspects of Internet addiction (pp. 45-71). IGI Global.

Medenica, S., Račić, M., & Joksimović, V. (2015). Internet and computer addiction:“new age” disease of the 21st century.

Mihordin, R. (2012). Behavioral addiction—quo Vadis?. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease200(6), 489-491.

Pontes, H. M., & Griffiths, M. D. (2014). Internet addiction disorder and internet gaming disorder are not the same. Journal of Addiction Research & Therapy5(4).


Don't have time to write this essay on your own?
Use our essay writing service and save your time. We guarantee high quality, on-time delivery and 100% confidentiality. All our papers are written from scratch according to your instructions and are plagiarism free.
Place an order

Cite This Work

To export a reference to this article please select a referencing style below:

Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Copy to clipboard
Need a plagiarism free essay written by an educator?
Order it today

Popular Essay Topics