A case of withdrawal psychosis from internet addiction disorder (2014)

Psychiatry Investig. 2014 Apr;11(2):207-9. doi: 10.4306/pi.2014.11.2.207. Epub 2014 Apr 11.

Paik A, Oh D, Kim D.


Similar to substance use disorder, patients with Internet addiction disorder (IAD) show excessive use, tolerance and withdrawal symptoms. We report a case of a patient with withdrawal psychosis who showed persecutory delusion and disorganized behaviors in addition to common withdrawal symptoms such as agitation and irritability. A 25-year-old male developed a full-blown psychotic episode within one day after discontinuing an Internet game that he had been playing for at least eight hours a day for two years. Upon admission, he had no abnormal brain imaging findings and laboratory tests. With antipsychotic medication (quetiapine up to 800 mg), his psychotic symptoms rapidly subsided and after four days of treatment, he no longer showed any signs of psychosis. This case report suggests that brief psychosis can develop during withdrawal from long-term excessive use of an Internet and the central pathology beneath the IAD is more likely a form of addiction than impulse control.


Behavior addiction, Internet addiction, Psychotic symptoms, Withdrawal