One theory concerns the mood-altering potential of behaviors related to process addictions.
Just as a person addicted to shopping may feel a "rush" or pleasurable change in mood from the series of actions related to a spending spree— checking one's credit cards, driving to the mall, going into one's favorite store, etc.— the person with an Internet addiction may feel a similar "rush" from booting up their computer and going to their favorite web sites.
In other words, some researchers think that there are chemical changes that occur in the body when someone is engaging in an addictive behavior.
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Other symptoms of addiction may include lack of sleep, fatigue , declining grades or poor job performance, apathy , and racing thoughts.
There may also be a decreased investment in social relationships and activities.
Although only a limited amount of research has been done on this disorder, the treatments that have been used appear to be effective.
No one knows what causes a person to be addicted to the Internet, but there are several factors that have been proposed as contributing to Internet addiction.
People who develop problems with their Internet use may start off using the Internet on a casual basis and then progress to using the technology in dysfunctional ways.