Internet addiction comes under the category of nonchemical addiction as it does not involve the use of an intoxicating drug so it comes under the category of an impulse control disorder which is quite comparable to pathological gambling. Internet addicts may enjoy aspects of the internet that allow them to meet, socialize, and switch ideas through the use of social networking websites, chat rooms or virtual communities. Some internet users can develop an emotional affection to on-line friends and activities they create on their computer screens. Similar to different addictions, the addicts of internet use the virtual fantasy world to connect with actual people as a replacement for the connection of real-life human through the internet, which they are unable to achieve normally. Those suffering from such kind of nonchemical addiction spend countless hours exploring topics of awareness online or blogging which is an abbreviation of the weblog.
Addicts of the internet can make online personas or profiles where they pretend to be someone other than herself or himself and are able to alter their identities. Internet addiction results in academic, personal, financial, family and occupational problems that are characteristic of other addictions. Those suffering from internet addiction might try to hide the quantity of time spent online, which results in the disturbance of quality and distrust in established relationships.
This addiction is not documented as an official mental health disorder. However, mental health professionals have noted behaviors or symptoms that, when present in sufficient numbers, may indicate the problematic usage. When addicts spend a lot of time on the web; often they neglect their personal relationships. Online gambling sites may force addicts to spend more money than they might in a real-life casino because users never actually see their money lost or won. So it is very simple to think the money is not real.
Addicts may end up lying to employers or family members about the quantity of time they waste online or look for other ways to conceal the depth of their involvement with the internet. Dependency on any material often creates side effects that alter mood when the addicted user is alienated from the dependent substance.
Addicts feel unwilling or unable to walk away and get up from the computer. They sit down to check e-mail or find a little information, and finish on staying online for hours. While the user is offline, he or she frequently imagines about the internet.
There is increasing proof that genetic predisposition can be a reason for addictive behaviors. To increase pleasure these individuals are more likely to get greater than normal commitment in behaviors that result in the increased production of dopamine neurotransmitter, which put them at more risks for addiction and effectively give them more reward. Many clinicians and researchers have noticed that many other mental disorders co-occur with this problem. The study by Dong reported that higher scores for depression, anxiety, hostility, and interpersonal sensitivity, were results of internet addiction.
Internet addiction can cause medical problems or physical discomforts such as severe headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes, backaches, abnormal eating (such as skipping meals), sleep disturbance and failure to concentrate on personal hygiene. Many persons who try to give up on their internet usage experience the withdrawal including depression, mood swings, fear, irritability, anger, sadness, loneliness, boredom, relief, restlessness, procrastination, anxiety, and upset stomach.