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.


1. Alrobai, A., Algashami, A., Dogan, H., Corner, T., Phalp, K., & Ali, R. (2019). Method: Combating Digital Addiction via Online Peer Support Groups. International Journal Of Environmental Research And Public Health, 16(7), 1162. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16071162;
2. Ames, S., Xie, B., Shono, Y., & Stacy, A. (2017). Adolescents at risk for drug abuse: a 3-year dual-process analysis. Addiction, 112(5), 852-863. doi: 10.1111/add.13742;
3. Balconi, M., Campanella, S., & Finocchiaro, R. (2017). Web addiction in the brain: Cortical oscillations, autonomic activity, and behavioral measures. Journal Of Behavioral Addictions, 6(3), 334-344. doi: 10.1556/2006.6.2017.041;
4. Cha, S., & Seo, B. (2018). Smartphone use and smartphone addiction in middle school students in Korea: Prevalence, social networking service, and game use. Health Psychology Open, 5(1), 205510291875504. doi: 10.1177/2055102918755046;
5. Chi, X., Liu, X., Guo, T., Wu, M., & Chen, X. (2019). Internet Addiction and Depression in Chinese Adolescents: A Moderated Mediation Model. Frontiers In Psychiatry, 10. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00816;
6. Grall-Bronnec, M., Victorri-Vigneau, C., Donnio, Y., Leboucher, J., Rousselet, M., & Thiabaud, E. et al. (2017). Dopamine Agonists and Impulse Control Disorders: A Complex Association. Drug Safety, 41(1), 19-75. doi: 10.1007/s40264-017-0590-6;
7. Hawi, N., Samaha, M., & Griffiths, M. (2018). Internet gaming disorder in Lebanon: Relationships with age, sleep habits, and academic achievement. Journal Of Behavioral Addictions, 7(1), 70-78. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.16;
8. ICD-11 - Mortality and Morbidity Statistics. 6C51 Gaming disorder. (2019). Retrieved 17 August 2019, from;
9. ICD-11 - Mortality and Morbidity Statistics. 6C72 Compulsive sexual behaviour disorder. (2019). Retrieved 17 August 2019, from;
10. ICD-11 - Mortality and Morbidity Statistics. Impulse control disorders. (2019). Retrieved 17 August 2019, from;
11. Kawabe, K., Horiuchi, F., Ochi, M., Oka, Y., & Ueno, S. (2016). Internet addiction: Prevalence and relation with mental states in adolescents. Psychiatry And Clinical Neurosciences, 70(9), 405-412. doi: 10.1111/pcn.12402;
12. Kim, K., Lee, H., Hong, J., Cho, M., Fava, M., & Mischoulon, D. et al. (2017). Poor sleep quality and suicide attempt among adults with internet addiction: A nationwide community sample of Korea. PLOS ONE, 12(4), e0174619. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0174619;
13. Liu, H., Liu, S., Tjung, J., Sun, F., Huang, H., & Fang, C. (2017). Self-harm and its association with internet addiction and internet exposure to suicidal thought in adolescents. Journal Of The Formosan Medical Association, 116(3), 153-160. doi: 10.1016/j.jfma.2016.03.010;
14. Marchant, A., Hawton, K., Stewart, A., Montgomery, P., Singaravelu, V., & Lloyd, K. et al. (2017). A systematic review of the relationship between internet use, self-harm and suicidal behaviour in young people: The good, the bad and the unknown. PLOS ONE, 12(8), e0181722. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0181722;
15. Mihajlov, M., & Vejmelka, L. (2017). INTERNET ADDICTION: A REVIEW OF THE FIRST TWENTY YEARS. Psychiatria Danubina, 29(3), 260-272. doi: 10.24869/psyd.2017.260;
16. Monacis, L., de Palo, V., Griffiths, M., & Sinatra, M. (2017). Exploring Individual Differences in Online Addictions: the Role of Identity and Attachment. International Journal Of Mental Health And Addiction, 15(4), 853-868. doi: 10.1007/s11469-017-9768-5;
17. Nasution, F., Effendy, E., & Amin, M. (2019). Internet Gaming Disorder (IGD): A Case Report of Social Anxiety. Open Access Macedonian Journal Of Medical Sciences, 7(16), 2664-2666. doi: 10.3889/oamjms.2019.398;
18. Obeid, S., Saade, S., Haddad, C., Sacre, H., Khansa, W., & Al Hajj, R. et al. (2019). Internet Addiction Among Lebanese Adolescents. The Journal Of Nervous And Mental Disease, 207(10), 838-846. doi: 10.1097/nmd.0000000000001034;
19. Panova, T., & Carbonell, X. (2018). Is smartphone addiction really an addiction?. Journal Of Behavioral Addictions, 7(2), 252-259. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.49;
20. Schivinski, B., Brzozowska-Woś, M., Buchanan, E., Griffiths, M., & Pontes, H. (2018). Psychometric assessment of the Internet Gaming Disorder diagnostic criteria: An Item Response Theory study. Addictive Behaviors Reports, 8, 176-184. doi: 10.1016/j.abrep.2018.06.004;
21. Shek, D., & Yu, L. (2012). Internet Addiction Phenomenon in Early Adolescents in Hong Kong. The Scientific World Journal, 2012, 1-9. doi: 10.1100/2012/104304;
22. Stavropoulos, V., Beard, C., Griffiths, M., Buleigh, T., Gomez, R., & Pontes, H. (2017). Measurement Invariance of the Internet Gaming Disorder Scale–Short-Form (IGDS9-SF) Between Australia, the USA, and the UK. International Journal Of Mental Health And Addiction, 16(2), 377-392. doi: 10.1007/s11469-017-9786-3;
23. Tateno, M., Teo, A., Ukai, W., Kanazawa, J., Katsuki, R., Kubo, H., & Kato, T. (2019). Internet Addiction, Smartphone Addiction, and Hikikomori Trait in Japanese Young Adult: Social Isolation and Social Network. Frontiers In Psychiatry, 10. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00455;
24. Tian, Y., Yu, C., Lin, S., Lu, J., Liu, Y., & Zhang, W. (2019). Sensation Seeking, Deviant Peer Affiliation, and Internet Gaming Addiction Among Chinese Adolescents: The Moderating Effect of Parental Knowledge. Frontiers In Psychology, 9. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.02727;
25. Wang, B., Yao, N., Zhou, X., Liu, J., & Lv, Z. (2017). The association between attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and internet addiction: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Psychiatry, 17(1). doi: 10.1186/s12888-017-1408-x;
26. Wegmann, E., Ostendorf, S., & Brand, M. (2018). Is it beneficial to use Internet-communication for escaping from boredom? Boredom proneness interacts with cue-induced craving and avoidance expectancies in explaining symptoms of Internet-communication disorder. PLOS ONE, 13(4), e0195742. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0195742;
27. WHO releases new International Classification of Diseases (ICD 11). (2019). Retrieved 17 August 2019, from;
28. Yau, Y., & Potenza, M. (2015). Gambling Disorder and Other Behavioral Addictions. Harvard Review Of Psychiatry, 23(2), 134-146. doi: 10.1097/hrp.0000000000000051;
29. Zajac, K., Ginley, M., Chang, R., & Petry, N. (2017). Treatments for Internet gaming disorder and Internet addiction: A systematic review. Psychology Of Addictive Behaviors, 31(8), 979-994. doi: 10.1037/adb0000315;
30. Zou, Z., Wang, H., d’Oleire Uquillas, F., Wang, X., Ding, J., & Chen, H. (2017). Definition of Substance and Non-substance Addiction. Advances In Experimental Medicine And Biology, 21-41. doi: 10.1007/978-981-10-5562-1_2.

Abstract views: 202
PDF Downloads: 162
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.