Internet addiction and ways to prevent it

internet addiction treatment

Today’s generation and the internet are inseparable. Most people spend hours online playing games, shopping, scrolling social media, watching videos, and surfing. However, it is defined as Internet addiction if people cannot withstand their urge to use the internet over their phone or computer. Let’s understand more about internet addiction, signs a person is addicted to the internet, and ways to get the best internet addiction treatment.

What is Internet Addiction? 

Internet Addiction Disorder, also called Compulsive Internet Use and Problematic Internet Use, describes impulse control problems involving the internet, computer, and mobile technology. It is an addiction where a person has a compulsive need to spend excessive time on the internet, so much so that it becomes the center of their life and starts affecting other areas (like health, work, or relationship).

How does Internet Addiction Affect an Individual?

Internet addiction increases the risk of many adverse mental, social, and health outcomes. People addicted to the internet are more likely to develop depressive symptoms. Moreover, internet addiction disorder is also associated with an increased risk of substance abuse. The emotional effects include dishonesty, aggression, depression, social isolation, and mood swings. Internet Addiction Disorder also results in poor academic performance, anxiety and depression, and harmful personality effects.

The short-term effects include unfinished tasks, weight gain, and forgotten responsibilities. The long-term effects include backache, vision problems, insomnia, carpal tunnel syndrome, and many more. Internet Addiction Disorder may also cause technostress and social withdrawal in a person.

Five Signs Which Show You Are Addicted to The Internet

We all watch back-to-back series on the internet or stay up to late gaming. However, this does not mean everyone is addicted online. Using the internet becomes problematic when it starts to affect important aspects of a person’s life negatively. The symptoms of internet addiction can be mental as well as physical. Here are some of the symptoms:

Mental Symptoms:

  • Inability to prioritize work or manage time.
  • No sense of time.
  • Euphoria when using the internet.
  • Mood swings or irritability.
  • Anxiety
  • Loneliness and isolation
  • Depression
  • Neglecting work
  • Boredom or lack of interest in daily tasks
  • Defensiveness

Physical Symptoms:

  • Insomnia or other sleep disturbances
  • Carpal tunnel
  • Neck and back pain
  • Weight gain
  • Headaches
  • Poor nutrition and/or personal hygiene
  • Dry eyes or other vision issues

There is no one specific criteria to diagnose internet addiction. You might be suffering from Internet Addiction Disorder if you have the above symptoms. Additionally, there is another criterion to diagnose Internet Addiction Disorder. This criterion was proposed by KW Beard in the journal Cyberpsychology and Behavior and is as follows:

  • The person is preoccupied with the internet. The person either constantly thinks of using it or thinks about the past use of it.
  • The person increases the time spent on the internet to continue gaining satisfaction.
  • The person tries and fails to control, reduce, or stop internet use.
  • The person becomes restless or depressed as a result of trying to manage their internet use.
  • The person stays online more extended than they intended.

Apart from these, at least one of the following symptoms must be present:

  • The person has jeopardized their relationships, work, school, or other opportunities.
  • The person uses the internet to avoid problems or to cope with difficult emotions.
  • The person lies to family, friends, and others about internet use.

Ways to prevent internet addiction

Many internet addiction treatments can be done to help people cope with Internet Addiction Disorder. Some of the common psychological internet addiction solutions include:

  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
  • Individual, family, or group Therapy
  • Art Therapy
  • Behaviour Modification Therapy
  • Dialectal Behavioural Therapy
  • Reality Therapy
  • Recreation Therapy

How Can We as A Rehabilitation Centre Help You Get Rid of Internet Addiction?

The Healers Psychiatry Centre has expertise in Internet Addiction treatment. We have a compassionate team, led by Dr. Pankaj, who assesses whether a person has Internet Addiction Disorders or co-occurring mental health disorders. After a comprehensive evaluation, our team designs a tailored internet addiction treatment plan that addresses an individual’s specific needs. To prevent internet addiction, our treatment plan may involve cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, family therapy, or a combination of therapies and support. Get in touch with The Healers Psychiatry Centre if you or someone you know has an internet addiction disorder.

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