Internet Addiction or Pathological Internet Usage Essay

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Internet Addiction or Pathological Internet Usage

What is Pathological Internet Use?

Pathological Internet Use or Internet Addiction is a type of impulse control disorder. (Holliday 10) Psychologists put it under this category because the effects of chemicals produced in the brain during Internet use haven't been properly documented. The addiction is similar to an obsessive compulsive disorder and is also often compared to alcoholism. "An estimated five to ten percent of people who use the Internet can be classified as having a problem." (Ross 2) More than 90 percent of addicts became addicted to two-way communications functions: chat rooms, MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons), news groups, and e-mail, says the author of Caught in
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We know what the addiction feeds off of and the artificial feeling of connection that it offers but the largest problem for researchers is finding a way to classify the disorder. "I've seen the Internet change the landscape in much the same way crack cocaine did for those who treat drug addicts," says Jennifer Schneider, MD, an internist and addiction medicine specialist in Tucson, Arizona.

How is a person classified as an addict?

A 1996 survey found that, "The addicted Internet user will spend an average of 38 hours per week online dealing with nonemployment nonacademic efforts, compared with "non addicts" in the survey who averaged eight hours. Almost half of the participants diagnosed with PIU reported they get less that four hours of sleep." Some of the criteria for Internet Addiction are: tolerance, withdrawal, increasing usage, and loss due to usage. (Ferris 1)

What causes or enables a person to become an addict?

Because Internet Addiction is often based on loneliness and feelings of inadequacy, the Internet can provide a means of having a relationship that is easier than real life. A person who finds making friends, and establishing social ties difficult may find Internet communication more fulfilling. (Schuman 1) Ultimately, using the Internet to counteract the feeling of loneliness only serves to compound the loneliness and shame an addict feels. (McCormick 17) When online an addict can become any type of individual he or she desires. No

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