The Repercussion of the Internet on Psychological Wellbeing: Discussion on Diverse Psychopathology and Treatment Approaches

The Repercussion of the Internet on Psychological Wellbeing: Discussion on Diverse Psychopathology and Treatment Approaches

Shilpa Suresh Bisen (Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology, India) and Yogesh Deshpande (Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology Nagpur, India)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 17
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-8449-0.ch005
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The internet is an essential and integral part of our lives, whether it's about looking for a meaning of a word, searching for a journal, shopping, or connecting to others. Human beings cannot think of life without the internet. Although it's having a positive impact, the negative side is there. Problematic internet use is defined as non-chemical or behavioral addictions, which involve human-machine interactions and can be harmful as it leads to numerous forms of psychological disorders. The chapter addresses various psychopathologies arising due to excessive internet use (e.g., problematic internet use, online gaming, online gambling, and compulsive cybersex). The chapter frames a strong theoretical background along with recent controversial issues related to the disorder. The chapter is delineated to acquaint readers with new concepts arising in clinical psychology that will help mental health professionals to be well equipped with skills required for the prevention and treatment of internet-related psychological disorders.
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Internet And Psychopathology

Problematic Internet Use

Many terms have been used to describe problematic internet use, including “Internet addiction,” “Internet addiction disorder,” “Internet dependency,” “Pathological internet use,” and “Compulsive computer use”(Liu & Potenza, 2007). Regardless of the term used, these behaviours have been defined as non-chemical or behavioural addictions which involve human-machine interactions (Griffiths, 1995). Studies have been conducted in many countries but the lack of a standardized definition is a significant limitation in estimating the prevalence of problematic internet use. The range of prevalence rates has been estimated to be 3% to 11% of internet users (DeAngelis, 2000). Research describes typical problematic internet users as technologically sophisticated male loners (Shotton, 1991). These people typically spend substantial time on non-work-related internet activities and consequently neglect other social or vocational obligations. It not only consumes time but also disrupts major areas of life functioning (Morahan & Schumacher, 2000).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Internet: Internet is a global computer network providing a variety of information and communication facilities, consisting of interconnected networks using standardized communication protocols.

Substance Use Disorder: Substance use disorder is a condition in which the excessive use of one or more substances leads to clinically significant impairment or distress.

Psychiatric Comorbidity: Psychiatric comorbidity is the presence of one or more additional psychiatric diseases or disorders co-occurring with primary psychiatric disease or disorder.

Psychiatric Disorder: Psychiatric disorder is a syndrome characterized by a clinically significant disturbance in an individual's cognition, emotion, or behavior that reflects a dysfunction in the person’s psychological, biological, or developmental wellbeing.

Psychological Wellbeing: Psychological wellbeing refers to the extent to which people experience a positive mindset and emotions and feelings of happiness and satisfaction.

Addiction: Addiction of any kind is traditionally associated with an uncontrollable urge, often accompanied by a loss of control, a preoccupation and continued use despite negative consequences.

Problematic Internet Use: Problematic internet use is behavior defined as non-chemical or behavioral addictions which involve human-machine interactions, can be is also called as compulsive internet use (CIU), internet overuse, problematic computer use, or pathological computer use (PCU), or internet addiction disorder (IAD).

Online Sex Addiction: It involves viewing, downloading, and trading online pornography or engagement in adult fantasy role-play rooms as a compulsive behavior that persists despite serious negative consequences for personal, social, or occupational function.

Behavioral Addiction: Behavioral addiction is a form of addiction that involves a compulsion to engage in a rewarding non-drug-related behavior despite knowledge of negative consequences to the person's physical, mental, and social wellbeing.

Internet Gambling: Internet gambling can be described as continued online gambling despite the knowledge of the negative consequences of losing and putting oneself in a financially difficult position and added the loss of productive time.

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