Whether internet addiction is a psychiatric disorder or not is still a matter of debate. Patients suffering from the so-called internet addiction often suffer from other psychiatric conditions in addition like attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, impulsivity, shyness and suicidal tendencies. Therefore, the addiction to the internet may be a part of these conditions and not a separate entity by itself.
A number of reasons may explain the development of internet addiction disorder. These include:
(1) Psychodynamic and personality factors: Internet addiction may occur due to the personality of the patient with superimposed stressors that predispose to developing addiction.
(2) Sociocultural factors: Internet addiction may depend on social and cultural factors;
(3) Behavioral factors: The internet allows a person to escape from reality, receive love or have lots of fun. This reinforces the need to visit the internet more often and experience the rewards. This ultimately results in addiction.
(4) Biomedical Factors: Factors that are hereditary like chromosomal problems, chemical imbalances in the brain or alteration in the level of neurotransmitters can lead to internet addiction, as seen with other addictions.