Internet Addiction


Although there is a worldwide debate on whether Internet addiction should be recognised as a legitimate clinical disorder, its adverse consequences shouldn’t be pushed aside. Excessive use of the Internet produces the tolerance and withdrawal effects seen in other addiction disorders. Many people regard Internet addiction as being obsessed with pornography sites, but it also includes online gaming and social networking sites.


The affordability and subsequent widespread use of smartphones mean convenient access to the Internet, but this can also perpetuate an unhealthy, unnecessary obsession with being up-to-date anywhere and everywhere (as long as there is mobile networks or wifi!).


Some signs which indicate someone might have an addiction to the Internet:

  • Denying repeatedly that they are spending too much time on the Internet
  • Social withdrawal – interaction with people in real life is reduced
  • Logging onto social networking or gaming sites even when busy with school assignments or work
  • Becoming restless when denied access to the Internet for a prolonged period of time (when there is no urgent need to go online)
  • Declining performance in school and at work due to lack of rest after spending excessive time on the Internet.


In Singapore, the Institute for Mental Health (IMH) launched an initiative in 2001 called Community Addiction Management Programme (CAMP) offering treatment for addictions, including online addiction. More information about Internet addiction, its effects, and suggestions for regulating its use can be found at



Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Department of Psychological provides assessment for substance and behavioural addictions. We have a dedicated multidisciplinary team of psychiatrists and psychologists that can provide assessment and treatment for your psychological and emotional distress.

It is never too late to seek help. If you would like to obtain an assessment, please obtain a referral from your doctor or call 65558828 for an appointment.