International Centre for Screen Addiction (ICSA)

The ICSA is a division of The Mind Institute, and is a centre of excellence offering services relating the assessment, research and treatment of people experiencing problems related to internet use. It has been built upon the extensive work of Dr Matt Shorrock, a leading clinician, researcher and writer in the field.

Assessment & Advice

The ICIA has its own assessment centre, where people experiencing problematic internet use can be assessed in order to determine levels of distress, and advise of the best course of action (from advice-sharing and self-help tools to in-depth psychotherapeutic intervention). Learn more

Treatment Services

The ICSA offers clinics and treatment programmes directly to people struggling with internet addiction. Learn more


What is ‘screen addiction’?

As the World Wide Web grew in accessibility and popularity during the mid-1990’s, academics and researchers first started to publish reports revealing how the heavy use of the internet was leading to clinical signs of addiction. The phenomena has been coined a new ‘disorder’ after borrowing criteria from two other categories of distress – impulse control and substance use disorders, giving rise to what was claimed as a brand new pathology, Internet Addiction Disorder [IAD] (Goldberg, 1996; Warden et al. 2004). There have emerged two schools of thought: those authors who are of the belief that internet addiction warrants classification as a new or emerging psychiatric disorder in and of itself, and those who define certain individuals as having problematic internet use in relation to specific online activities, such as social networking, gambling, or pornography (Yellowlees & Marks, 2005).

In acknowledgement of its increasing prevalence, the American Psychiatric Association (APA, 2000) has now decided to introduce Internet Addiction within the appendix of its latest Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders [DSM-V] (Block, 2008) whist giving serious consideration to its inclusion as a disorder in subsequent revised additions. More recently, the APA has proposed revisions of the DMS-V that involve subsuming certain subtypes of ‘Internet addiction’ under existing or ‘new’ disorders. For instance, diagnosticians would be able to categorise somebody understood to have cybersex addiction utilising a ‘specific feature’ of Hypersexual Disorder (APA, 2010).

What are the typical issues people struggle with relating to the internet?

Social media addiction (including Facebook and Twitter), internet gambling addiction, pornography and sex addiction, sexual confusion, depression and feeling down, anxiety and generalised anxiety, relationship difficulties, actual affairs and online ‘virtual affairs’, debt, and depersonalisation, jealousy, and low self-esteem.

(Please note: this is not an exhaustive list, merely just some of the common issues a lot of people struggle with.)

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