Information technology is taking over the world, thanks to the easy access that we now have due to tablets, laptops and smartphones that help us stay connected to the internet. The internet seems to find a way into many people’s daily lives at home, school and work. While it is a great tool for learning, communicating, business and entertainment, it also comes with negative features. There are approximately 420 millions of individuals around the world who are battling an internet addiction – that is 6% of the world’s population, reports a study published in the journal Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking.
Since internet addiction is harder to detect than other substance addictions, most people don’t realise the connection between excessive internet use and addictive behaviour. It is no surprise the rise of social media and other types of internet use have increased the amount of people who require internet addiction treatment.
Internet addiction is a behavioural addiction that is defined by compulsively overusing the internet. This is commonly recognisable amongst people who are sitting together but are using the internet, such as social media or playing internet games, instead of talking to each other. Like other forms of behavioural addictions, the internet addict’s brain reward centre is activated at even the thought of being able to access the internet. This is often linked with the feeling of connection. Internet addiction becomes a problem when a person’s internet usage has negative effects on their daily life, such as school, work or relationships, or is unable to connect with other people in real life.
There are several forms of computer addiction, including the following:
People who are suffering from computer addiction often need to be treated for compulsive addiction. Excessive use of the computer, for online and offline activities, could mean that the person have a form of obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD).
Cyber relationship addictions occur when a person forms online relationships that are not necessarily sexual, but they are harmful and have negative impacts on their life. Some people get to a point where their social connections via the internet become more important than their real-life family and friends.
Cybersex addiction involves adult websites or pornography. These addicts may engage in sexual related activities such as XXX web cams or chat rooms. These behaviours become an issue when they affect a person’s real romantic or sexual relationships, or when they are overly used to the point where it becomes a problem.
Informational addiction defines when a person constantly surfs the web to look up information, which can lead to informational overload. They eventually notice a decline in productivity at work or school, and have less interaction with their family and friends.
Compulsive web surfing describes excessive amounts of time spent on internet activities, such as shopping, gambling, auctions and trading stocks. People with this form of compulsion have a hard time resisting the urge to place a bet or buy something online, and usually end up having issues at work and overspending.
Internet addiction disorder can be displayed in both emotional and physical symptoms, though these details may be different for each person. Emotional symptoms of computer addiction include:
Physical symptoms of a person who uses the computer excessively include:
There are also short and long-term effects of being addicted to internet. Short-term effects include neglected responsibilities, weight gain and uncompleted tasks, while long-term effects are more obvious in physical symptoms, along with sexual and relationship issues. Internet addiction can also result in bankruptcy, especially if internet activities are focused on gambling, gaming or shopping. Many people also start to isolate themselves because they feel more comfortable communicating with people via the internet instead of in person.
Internet addiction is a treatable condition that mental health professionals can help a person overcome by addressing the behaviour and regaining the ability to use the internet in a healthy manner. Internet addiction is different than many other forms of addiction because internet use is often necessary in our daily life. Therefore the objective of treatment is not to completely abstain from it, but to use the internet in ways that do not interfere with their recovery. Common therapies and techniques used for internet addiction often include individual and group counselling, family therapy, behavioural therapy and 12 Step programmes.
The Dawn’s unique treatment programme is designed to help people overcome a variety of addictions. We use a combination of MBCT (Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy), which involves both CBT and mindfulness, along with the renowned 12 Steps and other techniques to give our clients the tools and skills that they need to overcome their internet addiction.
Our licensed team of clinicians have extensive experience in internet addiction treatment and can use a variety of therapies to assist clients in successful recovery. Our rates are only a fraction of the cost of Western centres, and we provide complimentary online aftercare support.
The Dawn’s comprehensive internet addiction treatment programme includes:
It is important to admit that there is a problem in order to get the proper help you need. Contact us today to receive a no obligation assessment and find out more about internet addiction treatment. You can also call us on one of our toll-free numbers listed on our Contact Us page.