Abstract and Keywords
Worldwide Internet use has risen over the past two decades, and with it problematic use has also increased. Problematic Internet use (PIU) may occur when individuals begin to spend excessive amounts of time online, forgo important tasks and responsibilities to use the Internet, feel anxiety when use is prohibited, and experience negative impacts on other aspects of life as a result of continued use. Some studies indicate that the prevalence of PIU has increased over the past two decades; however, the extent to which PIU constitutes a unique psychiatric disorder remains debated. This chapter describes issues relating to the classification, categorization, and conceptualization of PIU. Specifically, this chapter discusses PIU as a behavioral addiction, obsessive-compulsive spectrum disorder (OCSD), impulse-control disorder (ICD), or exacerbation of another underlying comorbidity.
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