Current trends in the development of virtual addiction: impulse control disorder and escaping

Keywords: virtual addiction; escaping; impulse control disorder; neurobiological basis.


The development of information technology is continually evolving due to the need to improve the quality of human life. Quick and efficient search for the necessary information, the possibility of free and immediate access to a wide range of goods and services, entertainment applications for devices, etc. - these are convenient ways of the personal high-performance self-fulfilment.  That is why, in recent years, there has been a tendency to the rapid increase in the use of Internet resources and media devices. Although, it is worth noting that the virtual fantasy environment can perform not only the useful part in the achievement of the success in the financial stability, in the educational and professional engagement, but it can also provoke an emotional attachment and concurrent dangerous psycho-physical diseases. Virtual addiction has five main types; they are as follows:   gaming, a tendency to excessive spending through online resources (gambling, shopping on the Internet), viewing pornographic materials, activities on social networks, rampant information search and so on. Also, this pathological condition causes the neurobiological changes in the cerebrum. Virtual addiction is characterized by a kind of rebound syndrome with negative emotional colouring due to the appearance of the discomfort of varying severity against the background of the lack of access to the digital environment. One of the significant factors influencing the development of this condition is the escaping phenomenon. Escaping is formed on the basis of the negative processes of everyday life in the case when a person decides to engage in distracting activities from emotionally-traumatic irritants. In some cases, this method can be useful; however, the main threat of escaping in the context of the development of virtual addiction is the progression of personal difficulties, since the lack of timely solutions to critical situations can contribute to the strengthening of adverse life events.  Taking into consideration that the problem of the pathological use of digital space and Internet networks is a relatively new area, researchers are still in the scientific and creative search for optimal methods for diagnosing and treating the above disorder. It creates a critical need for the development of high-quality research designs to obtain reliable results that will be conveniently implemented in the practice of health professionals (therapists, psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, etc.)  That is why the present work provides an overview of current trends in the development of virtual dependence, taking into consideration impulse control disorders and such phenomenon as escaping.


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How to Cite
Lysenko, O. (2019). Current trends in the development of virtual addiction: impulse control disorder and escaping. Fundamental and Applied Researches in Practice of Leading Scientific Schools, 36(6), 28-36.