How to tell if you are addicted to the internet

The existence of internet addiction

Internet addiction disorder (IAD) became an official theorized disorder in 1995, (comparable to pathological gambling) by Ivan Goldberg, M.D. There is a lot of debate as to it’s legitimacy as a mental disorder because of the ambiguity surrounding its definition. Many feel that it is not a real disorder and that it shouldn’t be listed as an official mental disorder.

Types of internet addiction

Being addicted to the internet itself is technically impossible, as it is simply a network of computers all communicating together through servers. What is not impossible is becoming addicted to the options available to us through the internet, including cyber-sex, cyber-relationships, online gaming, online gambling, eBay, web surfing, and social networking. These are the types of internet addiction that many people struggle with every day because the internet is so easily available to us wherever we go- these days you can even access most big-time websites through your cell phone!

How internet addiction conflicts with your life

Internet addiction interrupts the everyday activities that you do every day to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle. Some of the effects of internet addiction include a lack of sleep due to late hours spent online, a drop in grades and/or work productivity, and even your telephone bills going up due to calling people long-distance that you have met online. When you are obsessed with the web and being online it will consume most of your time- keeping up late hours at night and eating into your every day activities, causing your entire life to be negatively effected by a lack of attention.

Top 10 signs you are addicted to the internet

1. You spend more than 1-3 hours a day on the internet for purposes other than school or work
2. You lose track of the amount of time you spend, or you are dishonest to yourself about how much time you have been online
3. You eat your meals at your desk so as not to detract from your web time
4. You obsess over checking your email and/or social profiles (or whatever your favorite site is) multiple times every single day
5. You sneak online while working or running late on a busy schedule
6. You experience withdrawal-type-symptoms when you cannot have your internet time- anxiety, nervousness, irritability, etc.
7. You deny your obsessions over the internet when your friends and family point out your behavior
8. You see a noticeable drop in your performance in a work or school environment due to procrastination by going online
9. You withdraw from your real friends and family because you are anxious to find and meet your cyber friends
10. You have already unsuccessfully tried to cut back on your internet use


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.