Internet addiction is a growing but little discussed epidemic that affects many people’s lives across the world some that may not even realise it. Research into this addiction is relatively limited but can be linked to other addictive behaviour patterns such as gambling or compulsive behaviours. Often internet addicts are unaware of the behaviour patterns that are likely not only to be affecting them but also the people closest to them.
With the sudden rise in internet availability and subsequent rise in the content available it can be easy in this day and age to spend large amounts of time in front of your screen without even noticing. The most common forms relating to online addiction are pornography, gambling, gaming, shopping and just general browsing with no great purpose but to escape reality.
Here at HDSA we understand everyone is different and we pride ourselves on dealing with compulsive disorders. Noticeable signs of internet addiction include but are not limited to:
- Disappointment due to the inability to control or restrict online behaviour or usage
- Neglecting friends and family
- A sense of relief, euphoria or satisfaction when able to use the internet or computer
- Neglecting sleep to stay online
- Anger issues when on or offline
- Feeling ashamed, guilty, depressed, or anxious as a result of online behaviours
- Being dishonest with friends and family
- Not participating in your normal pleasurable activities
- Isolating in order to escape from reality
- Physical impacts such as back / neck aches, weight gain / loss, headaches, exhaustion, vision impairments
As with all addictions and compulsive behaviours without the correct support or treatment it is likely the severity of the problem will increase over time leading onto such problems as depression, stress, anxiety or even dependency on substances.
Recent studies have linked Internet addiction in its similarities to alcohol or drug addiction in that in can create sporadic behaviours within the brain. At HDSA we believe any compulsive or addictive behaviour can often lead to substance mis-use and even addiction.
The first step with internet addiction is the acceptance that it exists. From the point of acceptance it is then a case of looking at how or why the problem exists and what triggers the pattern of behaviours that are affecting your life. We have a dedicated team of specialist Therapists that will work with you to establish the underlying causes of your compulsive behaviours and ultimately look at changing these.
We use CBT to help explore why these behaviours are progressing and to control them. Often underlying emotional issues are the root cause of the problems and internet addiction is used as a form of escapism.
HDSA provides a calm and progressive therapeutic programme that is designed to give our patients every possible chance of changing their behaviours and ultimately keeping them changed. We also offer a comprehensive aftercare program to ensure that our patients have the best possible chance of long term success after treatment. Contact us now on 2787 550 1938 for free advice.