The association between Internet addiction and psychiatric disorder: A review of the literature (2011)

Eur Psychiatry. 2011 Dec 6.

Ko CH, Yen JY, Yen CF, Chen CS, Chen CC.


Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Municipal Hsiao-Kang Hospital, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung, Taiwan; Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, College of Medicine, Kaohsiung Medical University, Kaohsiung City, Taiwan; Department of Psychiatry, Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital, Kaohsiung, Taiwan.


Internet addiction is a newly emergent disorder. It has been found to be associated with a variety of psychiatric disorders. Information about such coexisting psychiatric disorders is essential to understand the mechanism of Internet addiction. In this review, we have recruited articles mentioning coexisting psychiatric disorders of Internet addiction from the PubMed database as at November 3, 2009. We describe the updated results for such disorders of Internet addiction, which include substance use disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, hostility, and social anxiety disorder. We also provide discussion for possible mechanisms accounting for the coexistence of psychiatric disorders and Internet addiction. The review might suggest that combined psychiatric disorders mentioned above should be evaluated and treated to prevent their deteriorating effect on the prognosis of Internet addiction. On the other hand, Internet addiction should be paid more attention to when treating people with these coexisting psychiatric disorders of Internet addiction. Additionally, we also suggest future necessary research directions that could provide further important information for the understanding of this issue.

Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS. All rights reserved.

PMID: 22153731