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Open Access Highly Accessed Commentary

Internet addiction: a 21st century epidemic?

Dimitri A Christakis

Author Affiliations

Center for Child Health, Behavior, and Development, Seattle Children's Research Institute, Seattle, Washington, USA

Department of Pediatrics, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA

BMC Medicine 2010, 8:61  doi:10.1186/1741-7015-8-61

Published: 18 October 2010

Abstract

Internet addiction, while not yet officially codified within a psychopathological framework, is growing both in prevalence and within the public consciousness as a potentially problematic condition with many parallels to existing recognized disorders. The rapid and unfettered increase in the number of people accessing a relatively unrestricted internet substantially increases the possibility that those suffering with an underlying psychological comorbidity may be at serious risk of developing an addiction to the internet, lending further credence to this hitherto understudied condition. In this commentary, I outline my recommendations for improved diagnosis, study and prevention of internet addiction.