Internet addiction is becoming a prevalent problem in this country. However, so many people remain in denial that's it's even a problem at all. It might be a bad habit that some people have, but could it really be an actual addiction? Many experts agree that it is.
One Stanford study has taken a closer look at what Internet addiction really is and how it affects people. Their findings were very interesting. The study showed that:
Do you find these statistics to be disturbing? It's possible that you also have an Internet addiction. You may not have ever thought of it that way before. Many people don't. They tend to think of addictions as applying to only drugs or alcohol, or perhaps to gambling. An Internet addiction is a process addiction. It's something that can lead to significant problems in your life.
At Northpoint Washington, we understand that this information may have come as a shock to you. You may have thought that you would never become addicted to anything. However, now that you think you might be, it's troubling you. You may even be in denial about having a problem. This is quite common too. People often look at addictions and things that happen to other people, and not to them.
If you think you might have an Internet addiction, it will help you to read the following information. Learning as much about Internet addiction as you can will be very helpful to you.
An Internet addiction is an impulse control disorder. It's different from some other types of addictions because it doesn't involve substances. In a way, it's very much like gambling addiction.
For those who are suffering from Internet addictions, they generally feel a compelling need to be online. They may use their time to look up information, get on social media, or participate in other activities. For many of these individuals, the Internet provides them with an alternate reality. They may find that hours pass before they realize how long they've been online. Eventually, they begin to care more about their online world, than they do the real world.
An Internet addiction can be diagnosed when someone begins to care more about being online than anything else. This could take many forms. For example, careers and relationships may suffer, the person's health could suffer, and other problems often develop. Most people who are addicted to the Internet deny that there's a problem. To them, being online is normal. They may even view those who don't spend a lot of time online as being the ones with the problems.
There are actually several different types of Internet addictions. They all involve being online excessively, but the activities they include are different.
The different types of Internet addictions include:
This type of Internet addiction involves the consistent use of pornography and adult websites. It may involve sexual chats with other people, web cams or pornographic videos. When these activities start to interfere with real life, they are known as a cybersex addiction.
Social media addiction is more prominent today than ever before. This is mostly because of the fact that social media sites are now mobile. People have the capability of checking their social networks any time of the day or night. When this becomes an obsession, and hours are spent on social media, there is an addiction present.
Today, this type of addiction is rare because it actually doesn't involve being online. However, there are many offline games and activities that people can and do become addicted to. When these activities take over one's life, it is known as a computer addiction.
Cyber relationships do not have to be sexual in nature to be destructive. Sometimes there comes a point where online friends become more important than real life. When this occurs, there is a cyber relationship addiction present.
There are those who spend countless hours looking up information online. They will surf the web looking for information constantly, which leads to information overload. This is an addiction all its own when it interferes with daily life.
Online compulsions are obsessive activities that take place online. Internet gambling, trading stocks or even purchasing items online all fall into this category. Compulsive shopping or placing bids on eBay can become very addictive.
There are actually both emotional and physical symptoms of an Internet addiction. Learning the symptoms can help you identify whether or not you have a treatable condition.
The emotional symptoms of an Internet addiction include:
The physical symptoms of being addicted to the Internet include:
Have you noticed any of these in your own life? Maybe you never really wanted to admit that there might be a problem. However, you can see that there is one, and it needs to be addressed. Fortunately, Internet addiction treatment can provide you with the help you need.
Maybe you're looking at the above symptoms, and you're still not sure. You think you might have an Internet addiction, but you don't really fit all of the classic signs. It's often helpful to take an Internet addiction test. Answering certain questions about your Internet use can give you more insight into your own behaviors.
Answer the following questions honestly.
These questions might be really difficult for you. It's not easy to look into our own behaviors when struggling with an addiction. However, if you answered more than two of them with a yes, then you are probably addicted to the Internet. The good news is that you now know, so you can do something about it.
Research has shown that there are certain people who have a greater risk of online addiction than others. People who suffer from anxiety and depression have a greater risk. They often fail to get the support they need in their everyday lives. This leads them to look to the Internet as a source of comfort.
People who have a history of other types of addictions may also be at a greater risk for Internet addiction. These addictions might include sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling or other types of addictions.
Even those who are stressed out or simply unhappy are at risk for Internet addiction. The Internet represents an alternate world that people perceive as being perfect. At any rate, they believe it's probably much better than the world they currently live in. People who are generally shy or have social discomfort may find the Internet to be a better option for them. They feel more confident in themselves when they're online. This can lead to addiction.
Getting help for an Internet addiction is so important. There are several ways that you can go about doing this.
Support groups have shown great promise in helping people who have addictions. One support group is called Internet & Tech Addiction Anonymous, and they offer help for Internet addicts. Joining the program is free, and they follow the 12 Step model of recovery.
Internet Addiction Support Groups is another website that can be very helpful. They offer the ability to connect with others who also have Internet addictions. Getting support from others who understand what you're going through is so important.
People often find it very helpful to talk with a therapist as well. That is what makes Internet addiction treatment such an excellent solution. It might seem strange to go into a rehab program for an Internet addiction. However, this is an affliction that is causing so much harm in people's lives. It is tearing families apart and causing so much stress and discord for people all over the United States. Professional Internet addiction treatment aims to help people recover who truly want to heal. This is sometimes best accomplished by taking some time away from home. That allows people to focus solely on recovering.
Now that you know more about Internet addiction and what it is, what are your thoughts? Do you feel that many of the above symptoms apply to you? Did you get a fairly high score on the Internet addiction test? If you do have an addiction to the Internet, it's not the end of the world. You can get the help you need to recover.
Internet addiction treatment offers you the opportunity to recover from your addiction. Usually these types of addictions stem from other issues that you might not even be aware of. Professional treatment will help to point them out to you. Understanding what caused your addiction is the very first step to recovering from it. Those root causes can be treated, giving you a better chance of recovering.
Do you feel that you have an Internet addiction? If you do, then it's really important for you to get the help you need. Please contact us so that we can help you get the treatment that's right for you.