Monday, October 1, 2012

Internet Addiction and Adults (test)

We are faced with innumerable stressors, from pressures we put on ourselves (internal) to the expectations of others (external). When we find an activity that helps us to escape these pressures we may act like “a kid in a candy store” and go overboard. Our pressures seem to disappear! And we increase the time in that magical activity that frees us from life’s pressures and provides escape.

Anything can become addictive; food, gambling, exercise, sex, spending, internet, video/computer games (for example; World of Warcraft®, Call of Duty®, and Everquest®). Whatever form of escapism, if the activity regulates mood and relieves emotional pressures and needs to be re-enacted time and time again – then the behavior has become addictive. Addiction and its behaviors become a routine way of coping, as in the cycle of addiction. Once a behavior has become addictive the pattern or cycle is predictable.

Understanding the Cycle of Addiction

1)      Stressor - such as unrealistic expectations from others or ourselves, fear of rejection/failure, life pressures, etc. Anything that triggers us to feeling vulnerable and weakening our reserve.

2)      Acting out - internet activity of any kind that segregates us from the outside world (family, work, school, responsibilities) and has escalated to more and more time away from others and our responsibilities.

3)      Guilt & Remorse – this always occurs, promising ourselves or others that we will never “do it” again. Momentarily recognizing the damage. The questions of why begin to take over.

4)      Shame & Depression – along with recognition, a deep sense of shame and depression.

5)      Recommitment – promise to limit time on internet, spend more time with family, recommitment to ourselves and others.  

6)      Performance – we may be able to keep the commitment and promises, but only until the cycle starts up at the next stressor, which activates the entire cycle, ultimately repeating addictive cycle over and over.

Learning how the addiction cycle works, and how to replace the self-medicating addictive behavior with healthy coping skills are among the treatment protocol.

In the Phoenix area or for more resource links, feel free to contact us at, or via email

Internet Addiction Test

The Internet Addiction Test is the first validated and reliable measure of addictive use of the Internet. Developed by Dr. Kimberly Young, the IAT is a 20-item questionnaire that measures mild, moderate, and severe levels of Internet Addiction.

To assess your level of addiction, answer the following questions using this scale (add your score as you go):

1 = Rarely.
2 = Occasionally.
3 = Frequently.
4 = Often.
5 = Always.

1.      How often do you find that you stay on-line longer than you intended?

2.      How often do you neglect household chores to spend more time on-line?

3.      How often do you prefer the excitement of the Internet to intimacy with your partner?

4.      How often do you form new relationships with fellow on-line users?

5.      How often do others in your life complain to you about the amount of time you spend on-line?

6.      How often do your grades or school work suffers because of the amount of time you spend on-line?

7.      How often do you check your e-mail before something else that you need to do?

8.      How often does your job performance or productivity suffer because of the Internet?

9.      How often do you become defensive or secretive when anyone asks you what you do on-line?

10.  How often do you find yourself anticipating when you will go on-line again?

11.  How often do you fear that life without the Internet would be boring, empty, and joyless?

12.  How often do you snap, yell, or act annoyed if someone bothers you while you are on-line?

13.  How often do you lose sleep due to late-night log-ins?

14.  How often do you feel preoccupied with the Internet when off-line, or fantasize about being on-line?

15.  How often do you feel preoccupied with the Internet when off-line, or fantasize about being on-line?

16.  How often do you find yourself saying "just a few more minutes" when on-line?

17.  How often do you try to cut down the amount of time you spend on-line and fail?

18.  How often do you try to hide how long you've been on-line?

19.  How often do you choose to spend more time on-line over going out with others?

20.  How often do you feel depressed, moody, or nervous when you are off-line, which goes away once you are back on-line?

20 - 49 points: You are an average on-line user. You may surf the Web a bit too long at times, but you have control over your usage.

50 -79 points: You are experiencing occasional or frequent problems because of the Internet. You should consider their full impact on your life.

80 - 100 points: Your Internet usage is causing significant problems in your life. You should evaluate the impact of the Internet on your life and address the problems directly caused by your Internet usage.

Find a therapist in your area through such sights as Psychology Today at 
In the Phoenix area or for more resource links, feel free to contact us at, or via email

No comments:

Post a Comment