Current approaches to the treatment and correction of Internet addiction (2019)

Zh Nevrol Psikhiatr Im S S Korsakova. 2019;119(6):152-159. doi: 10.17116/jnevro2019119061152.

[Article in Russian; Abstract available in Russian from the publisher]

Egorov AY1, Grechanyi SV2.


in English, Russian

According to WHO consensus decision, gambling disorder, including the form of Internet addiction (IA), should be included in the section ‘Impulsive disorders and behavioral addictions’ of ICD-11. Population studies in the USA and Europe show the prevalence of IA from 1.5 to 8.2%, and in the countries of Southeast Asia it reaches 20-30% among young people. All this raises questions about the development of standardized approaches to the treatment and correction of this disorder. The review covers pharmacological and non-pharmacological approaches. Several studies and clinical observations have been devoted to pharmacological methods for treating IA, including the successful use of antidepressants such as escitalopram, clomipramine, and bupropion. There are data on the effectiveness of quetiapine, clonazepam, naltrexone and methylphenidate. In general, research was limited to methodological deficiencies, including small sample sizes, lack of control groups etc. Of non-pharmacological and psychotherapeutic approaches, in particular, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most studied. Special programs CBT are developed focused on children and teenagers. In addition to CBT, other psychotherapeutic approaches were used for the correction of IA: reality therapy, Internet interventions, acceptance and responsibility therapy, family therapy, complex methods. In many countries educational medical camps have been established (for example, sports or other outdoor activities) for adolescents with IA. Further studies in the field are needed to develop treatment approaches and diagnostic classification of IA.

KEYWORDS: Internet addiction; cognitive-behavioral therapy; pharmacotherapy; psychotherapy

PMID: 31407696

DOI: 10.17116/jnevro2019119061152