Studies have shown that the average nonaddicted internet user spends about six hours per day. For the more than 6% of users who are addicted, the time spent averages nine plus hours per day. The author outlines seven critical signs of addiction to the Internet and provides an Internet Abuse Test. ( Greenfield, David N., PhD. Virtual Addiction. pp 50-61. CA:New Harbinger Publications, Inc, 1999.)

According to Dr. Orzack, a licensed clinical psychologist, founder and coordinator of McLean Hospital’s Computer Addiction Service and a member of the Harvard Medical school faculty, psychological and physical symptoms associated with addiction to computer/video games/internet use may include the following:

Psychological Symptoms

  • Having a sense of well-being or euphoria while at the computer
  • Inability to stop the activity
  • Craving more and more time at the computer
  • Neglect of family and friends
  • Feeling empty, depressed, irritable when not at the computer
  • Lying to employers and family about activities
  • Problems with school or job

Physical Symptoms

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Dry eyes
  • Migraine headaches
  • Backaches
  • Eating irregularities, such as skipping meals
  • Failure to attend to personal hygiene
  • Sleep disturbances, change in sleep pattern

(Orzack, Maressa Hecht, PhD)

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