Problematic Internet Use: A Case of Social Media Addiction


Sandra M. DeJongPages 112-115 (4)


Background: Internet addiction, also called Problematic internet use, has an estimated prevalence globally of 5- 10%, quickly becoming an increasingly important clinical problem in adolescent psychiatry.

Method: A case of social media addiction in a 13-year-old girl is presented and discussed using Tam and Walter’s “Basic Model of PIU in Youth” (Tam and Walter, 2013). Potential treatment approaches are also reviewed.

Results: While many cases of internet addiction focus on online gaming, problematic use of social media is also common, particularly in adolescent girls. Defined as internet use that creates difficulties in psychological, social, academic and/or work domains, it has lacked a unified conceptual and treatment approach.

Conclusion: Internet addiction is an increasingly recognized clinical problem that arises in the context of a constellation of individual and parenting factors and that poses unique treatment dilemmas for clinicians.


Adolescents, case report, internet addiction, Problematic internet use, social media addiction.


Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Cambridge Hospital, 1493 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA 02139 USA.

Read Full-Text article