Nevertheless, compulsive Internet use is a serious problem for some people, and there are methods that can be helpful in alleviating this problem. Discussion below will describe some of these methods. Internet addiction is a problem of compulsive stimulation, much like drug addiction. Because of this similarity, well studied treatment procedures known to be useful for helping drug addicts towards recovery are adapted for use with Internet addicts when the need arises.
Cognitive behavioral forms of therapy are well studied and known to be helpful as applied to many different mental and behavioral difficulties.
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They are not the only valid forms of therapy, however. In treating drug addiction, frequently the goal of therapy is abstainence. An alcoholic, for example, is often best off if he or she ceases to drink alcohol entirely and to maintain a sober lifestyle.
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Much like the telephone, the Internet has become an essential part of modern business. To ask people to not use the Internet at all could be a significant burden for them. Instead of abstainence, then, a reasonable goal for Internet addiction therapy is a reduction in total use of the net. Because Internet addicts by definition will have difficulty moderating their use on their own, therapy techniques can be employed to help them to become more motivated to reduce their use, and to become more conscious of how they get into trouble with the Internet.
Motivational Interviewing may be employed to assess how motivated Internet addict may be to change their behavior and to help addicts to increase their motivation to make a lasting change. To accomplish the latter, a therapist may help addicts to develop genuine empathy for the people who are hurt by their addiction e. By helping addicts to see how their actions affect others they care about or are dependent on economically, therapists can help increase addicts motivation to change. To provide a fictitious but realistic example, a first trigger might be boredom, or horniness, or even a bad mood brought on by a fight.
Addicts seek out their stimulation of choice in response to these triggers, most of the time without ever being all that aware of why they are acting as they do. Therapists will often discuss in detail episodes of indulgence with addicts so that they become conscious of their triggers and can choose to act in an alternative fashion when they next become vulnerable.
They will also help addicts to generate lists of safer, more functional alternative behaviors they can engage in when they realize they are in danger so that they do not default to their addictive behavior. Part and parcel with identifying triggers, is helping addicts to set realistic goals for their Internet use. It may be that Internet use is important at use, but needs to be restricted at home. It may be that particular websites need to be avoided, but other uses of the Internet are okay. Therapists work with their patients to set realistic and measurable goals for their Internet usage.
Patients are then asked to actually record their Internet usage in a log which is used in therapy to track progress. For example, to help reduce the amount of time spent of the Internet, or one specific portion thereof, a user will set a maximum allowed time per day or week. The goal is to keep under this maximum—the farther under, the better. To ensure this goal is met, users can rely on timers or alarms, to monitor how long they have spent online.
For example, if an Internet user feels he is spending too much time in chat rooms, he may set a goal to spend no more than two hours per week using the Internet for this purpose. He sets a thirty-minute timer for each of the four times per week he wants to use the Internet for chat rooms, and as soon as his timer goes off he exits the chat room.
He also records his actual usage on the log so as to see how well he is able to conform to his goal. As anyone can quickly surmise, conforming to goals and logging your behavior is hard, disciplined work that is difficult for many people to sustain on their own. Therapists help patients to sustain this disciplined work by having them give weekly progress reports either in individual or group therapy settings , or setting up healthy rewards that patients can earn when goals have been met for an agreed upon amount of time.
Sharing progress in a group therapy session, with a therapist, or with a family member can help motivation to cut back on Internet time. Objective monitoring can be useful when self-discipline and self-reporting are not enough to keep an addict on the straight and narrow. Whether it is watching a movie or catching up with an old friend, internet has made everything easier. Internet allowed us to be more productive by helping in our day to day activities. Unfortunately, many people are addicted to the internet. The usage of internet has increased to a great extent that it started interfering in other key areas of life such as — education, work, and relationship, physical and emotional health.
When internet becomes a priority, the individual no longer participate in life outside the virtual world. Internet addiction is a compulsive disorder that interferes with normal living. It causes severe stress and relationship problems with family and friends.
There are different forms of addiction involved with over-use of internet, and it is essential to identify the category. Most of the times, internet addiction is characterized by a compulsive desire to interact online through cybersex, gambling, gaming, social networking and compulsive surfing. This type of internet addiction takes place in fantasy role playing sites and adult chat rooms.
Watching internet pornography is the most common type of cybersex addiction. This type of addiction includes compulsive gaming, gambling, trading stocks, shopping or excessive use of internet that interferes with personal and professional well-being.
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Some people play on computer obsessively, such as — Solitaire, programming a computer etc. They enjoy playing offline games and stay in front of computer for long period. Such addiction is called general addiction and can be treated easily. There are lot of people who have multiple social media accounts and chat rooms. These people take part in social networks and virtual messages with the purpose of having online relationships.
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They enjoy more with online friends than with family members or real friends. Compulsive web surfing is a disorder where individuals keep on surfing the web or database to a point.
They do not give time to friends, family members or regular work at home. Not all the users who surf web become addicted to the internet. In some cases, excessive usage of internet is not associated with internet addiction. Internet is one of the best sources of information and there are many ways in which it can be used in a healthy way.
Now, the question is — how to recognize healthy internet use and unhealthy internet use? Well, the level of internet usage differs from person to person and we should consider multiple factors to determine what level of internet usage is unhealthy. Some people depend on internet for professional work and use excessively. However, this does not mean that the person is internet addicted. Some people might use internet to connect with their family members who are staying far away.
This too does not necessarily mean that the person is addicted. Unhealthy usage of internet can often be characterized by the decision of the individual to interact online instead of the person in real life.
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The decision to spend time online without any purpose is a warning signal that the person is addicted. Using internet for long hours with the purpose of spending time can cause negative consequences in individuals in terms of broken relationship, increased anxiety, reduced productivity or financial distress. Internet addiction can be manifested in both physical and emotional symptoms. However, the symptoms vary from person to person. Individuals should watch for warning signals that internet addiction may be developing.
If you are using internet to reduce stress or boost your mood, it means you are seriously addicted to internet. Many people with internet addiction fail to achieve relationship connections normally and end up with unproductive results. If you have any of the above symptoms, you should schedule appointment with physiatrist. It is hard to say what causes internet addiction. To understand how internet addiction causes, you should first compare it with different types of addictions such as drug addiction, relationship addiction etc. Similarly, internet addict feel normal by surfing internet for longer periods.
Internet addiction is a newer phenomenon and there is no clear definition of internet addiction. More research needs to be conducted to know the primary causes of internet addiction. The causes can vary with gender, age and personality. Society plays an important role in different types of behavioral issues, such as internet addiction, drug addiction, TV addiction etc. Internet addiction seems to be common among people who interact more online in the form of online games, chat rooms, social media etc. This is another possible cause of internet addiction. Someone who is addicted to a substance is prone to become addicted to other activities.
People with mental disorder like — depression, stress, anxiety may self-medicate by using internet to relieve their symptoms. For example — people with depression, anxiety, stress or any other mental condition may use alcohol or other substance to feel better. The emotions and thinking pattern of person play a vital role in driving addiction behaviors.
Thoughts and emotions tank on the top of list, when it comes to any form of addiction. Withdrawal from an antidepressant should always be gradual and under medical supervision as is done with people who are being treated for depression. The taking of medications should always be monitored and dispensed by a qualified health professional. Overdose of these medications may lead to further complications and can be extremely harmful. Depression is seen to be a risk factor and cause for online addiction.
Treating depression may lessen the chance that an online addiction will occur. An Internet addiction and substance abuse often go hand in hand with each other.