Jodi Whitaker

Recognize and Treat Internet Addiction

Published: Jun 18, 2013
LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 18, 2013) - The following column appeared in the Lexington Herald-Leader on Sunday, June 16.

 

By Dr. Hatim Omar and Dr. Stephanie Stockburger

 

Do you stay up late into the night using the Internet? Are you grumpy or anxious when you cannot log on? Do you feel the need to use the Internet more and more to feel satisfied? Do you stay online longer than you intended? Is your Internet use interfering with your social life, work, or academic performance? Do you continue to use the Internet despite family conflict about your use? Have you lied in order to conceal your involvement with the Internet?

 

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from Internet addiction.

 

Internet addiction is characterized by excessive use or many hours spent in non-work technology-related computer, Internet, or video game use.

 

According to an article titled, “Internet Addiction: A Brief Summary of Research and Practice” recently published in Current Psychiatry Reviews, symptoms of Internet addiction include

  • Changes in mood
  • Preoccupation with the Internet and digital media
  • Inability to control the amount of time spent interfacing with digital technology
  • The need for more time or a new game to achieve a desired mood
  • Withdrawal when not engaged with digital technology
  • Diminishing social life
  • Adverse work and academic consequences

Internet addiction can be difficult to diagnose. The committee in charge of creating the newest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM 5) considered including Internet addiction as a diagnosis but decided instead to characterize it as an area requiring further research. Because Internet addiction does not have standard diagnostic criteria, it is difficult to know how prevalent Internet addiction is.

 

The reported prevalence rate of Internet addiction varies from 0.3 percent to 38 percent of the population. Internet addiction is much more widely diagnosed in Europe and Asia, which are also more advanced than the United States in the treatment of Internet addiction. The goal of treatment is to learn to use the Internet in moderation as opposed to abstaining completely.

 

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has published guidelines regarding media in children and teens on their website at AAP.org  called “Media and Children.”

 

According to the AAP, excessive media use can lead to attention problems, school difficulties, sleep and eating disorders, and obesity.

 

Parents and guardians can help their children learn to use the Internet wisely by having rules about use. Those rules include:

  • No computer in the bedroom
  • Set a good example regarding appropriate use
  • Offer non-electronic educational materials
  • Set total “screen time” (including Internet, television, cell phones and electronic games) to no more than one to two hours per day. In addition, children under two years of age should not have access to “screen time” since their brains are developing rapidly during this time period and children learn by interacting with people, not screens

Dr. Hatim A. Omar is a professor of pediatrics and chief of the UK HealthCare. Division of Adolescent Medicine. Dr. Stephanie Stockburger is an assistant professor of pediatrics at UK. 

omar_hatima_03.jpg
April
 
 
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UK Baseball vs. Louisville
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Pinterest Party #2
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LNFS presents Ferris Bueller's Day Off
Men's Tennis vs. Illinois
UK Softball vs. Louisville
UK Men's Tennis vs. Northern Kentucky
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
Student Health Advisory Council Meeting
Best Practices for Tree Planting and Establishment Class 2
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#TrendingTopics: It's Not Easy Being Green
Wed
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UK Toastmasters
Kentucky Children's Garden Spring Break Special!
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UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
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Creoles Topopholia
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Cormac O'Grada - "The Nature of Famines"
"The Nature of Famines," Committee on Social Theory Public Lecture
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Fri
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UK Baseball vs. Florida
UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
Bluegrass Bazaar
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UK Softball vs. Texas A&M
Ride the Legacy
UK Men's Tennis vs. Vanderbilt
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Dine. Discover. Decide.: Connecting students to alumni in 3D!
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UK Baseball vs. Morehead State
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UK Men's Tennis vs. Morehead State
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LNFS presents The Mexican Suitcase
Mr. PharmD
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UK Baseball vs. Missouri
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UK Baseball vs. Missouri
UK Men's Golf Bluegrass Invitational
Arboretum Volunteer Training and Orientation
Taste of Africa
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Swing Dancing!
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UK Men's Golf Bluegrass Invitational
UK Men's Tennis vs. Florida
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Inequality in the US: Consequences
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OUTspoken: Leaving the Second Closet Behind
LNFS presents Easy Rider
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20th Annual Black Women's Conference
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The Re-enchantment of Photography as a Primanry Geographic Mapping Medium
UK Softball vs. Arkansas
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UK Softball vs. Arkansas
UK Track and Field Home meet
Unleash the Beast: Paintball Wars
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Job Club: Tighten Your Budget after a Job Loss
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LNFS presents The Lego Movie
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Health Smart: Mindfulness
Pre-Pharmacy Club Meeting
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Shuffle Series: Bluegrass
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LNFS presents The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
UK Toastmasters
Wellness On Wheels
LNFS presents Juno
Perelman’s Dissociations: Double Fidélité, Fighting the Nazis, and the New Rhetoric Project’s Canon of Invention – Annual Hymson Lecture
Legacy Week: Candlelight Ceremony
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LNFS presents The Brave Little Toaster
Bonfires of Illusions: the Twin Crises of the Liberal World
Arbor Day Volunteer Orientation and Training
Alex Callinicos - "Bonfires of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World
LNFS presents Pariah
UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
Color Me Spring Fashion Show
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Legacy Week: Leave Your Legacy
Arbor Day at The Arboretum
UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
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UK Theatre presents "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat"
UK Wind Symphony Concert
UK Symphony & Concert Band Concert
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Politics in Mexico Today
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Relieving Stress Through Your Senses
Tree Identification Class 5
Massage on the Go #3
The Practicing Happiness Workbook - author presentation
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