See DSM. Essentially, when instead of the pleasure it becomes problematic. The person is preoccupied with the habit; spends more and more time on internet; without computer, is irritable, unhappy; time with computer instead of other responsibilities; there is no control over the habit; cont to do it despite consequences. I treat it with "physiological extinction".
Internet addiction. Spending more hours online takes time away from other obligations, leads to change in sleep patterns, energy level, temperment & overall productivity.
Any addiction. Is hallmarked by a persistent, compulsive use of a "substance" despite negative consequences. In this case, negative consequences could be ignoring responsibilities, loss of a social life or even ignoring the basic things we all need such as adequate sleep, good nutrition and adequate exercise.
Indispensable addict. Internet addiction is a serious problem, which is being realized today, 20 years after it was introduced to households. Internet addiction can be hard to treat as internet is not dispensable in the same manner drugs, alcohol, cigarettes and gambling are. Cognitive behavioral therapy, individual & group counseling may be effective. Underlying depression, if present, should be treated.
Avoid the internet. Which you don't seem to be doing right at present, since you are asking questions on it. Internet addiction, like other "process" addictions (gambling, sex) can represent underlying psychiatric issues, and the first step would be to see a mental health professional with interests in addictive disorders. In some people it is a manifestation of obsessive-compulsive traits, while in others addiction.
Psychiatric Evaluati. Consider best treatment rather than ''cure'', as most likely an expert evaluation may reveal a range of circumstantial to complex & complicated causes. The approach should then be tailored to what lay behind the behavior. Approach this as you would any symptom that has gone beyond a reasonable time during which one's current health should have cured, if not clearly improved the sx.
Ask for help. Ask for help from your doctor or see a psychiatrist will be a good start.
Not sure if asking. About it on the internet is the best way to go. Internet "addiction" is not a single entity. In many people it is really a sexual addiction, searching out cybersex and pornography. Others it's gambling. Still others its creating multiple "personas" and pretending to be different people. Whatever, it's an escape from life, and a mental health professional can help find the cause and help treat it.
Treat any addiction. By increasing your motivation to change. Look at use pattern (keep a log), identify consequences, list reasons to change, rate motivation for each reason (0-10) & develop those 8+, build confidence by listing your personal successes overcoming challenges, describe benefits of change, set goals, develop a plan, measure progress, & work with supportive people & knowledgeable professionals.
Mutual support helps. You might consider checking out the mutual support groups that are available on the internet. An alcoholic who wants recovery, and is unable to leave the bar, may find another alcoholic in the bar who is looking for recovery, and together they may do what neither could do alone.
Internet Addiction. Behavior modification is key. However, like all addictions, behavior modification is not linear. Have a daily plan of what you intend to get done. Follow the time alloted to each assignment and move to another, including your stay on the internet to check your emails, glance at facebook, or y-tube. Get off the internet as soon as the time is out. Good luck.
RX underlyingdisease. Most "process addictions" - gambling, overeating, sex addiction, internet addiction - are related to underlying anxiety disorders and/or depressive disorders. Some 12-step techniques work for some process addictions, such as gambling, but others, including internet addiction, are usually part of an obsessive-compulsive personality and the underlying disorders needs to be treated.