Overview of internet addiction (2014)

Alcohol Alcohol. 2014 Sep;49 Suppl 1:i19. doi: 10.1093/alcalc/agu052.85.

Billieux J.


Problematic Internet Use or Internet addiction is generally considered as an inability to control the use of the Internet, which eventually involves psychological, social, academic, and/or professional problems in a person’s life. Dysfunctional use of the Internet has been related to a variety of different activities such as cybersex, online gambling, online video game playing, or social network involvement, thereby emphasizing that this problematic behavior can take very different forms across individuals and should not be viewed as a homogeneous construct.

Despite Internet Addiction per se is not yet recognized as a diagnostic in the DSM-5, Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD) was included as a tentative condition in Section 3 (to promote research on that condition for potential future conceptualization as a psychiatric diagnosis). In this talk, I will first review the epidemiological studies from the last decade, and also emphasized their limitations. Then, I will review the main risk factors for cyber addiction. Empirical illustrations will be presented with regard to excessive involvement in online games taking place in permanent virtual worlds (e.g., MMORPGs) and cybersex addictions.