Internet addiction has become one of the major problems of the new generation.
Just like any other addiction, although it is considered just a bad habit by our society, in reality, internet addiction also requires serious attention.
Many of us know the dangerous mental and physical effects of substance abuse disorders. In order to recover from drug or alcohol addiction, individuals opt for an alcohol treatment center in Houston by Infinite Recovery.
In a similar way, internet addiction also requires proper treatment and care. Here in this article, we will talk about the challenges of internet addiction disorder.
What Is Internet Addiction?
Are you one of those who plays excessive video games on the internet?
Are you shopping online compulsively?
Are you failing to stop physically checking Facebook?
Is your excessive internet use interfering with your regular life, school, work, or relationships?
If the answer is yes to any of these questions, there is a huge chance that you might be suffering from an internet addiction disorder. It is also addressed as CIU or Compulsive Internet Use. This type of addiction is given serious attention by a number of mental health counselors, researchers, and doctors as a serious disorder.
The challenging thing about this particular addiction is that technology surrounds you endlessly. We are living in the digital age, where the internet has taken over. Most of what we do, is on the internet. Whether you need to order a pizza or are not able to find a particular T-shirt in the store, the internet is there to offer you almost everything and anything you want.
At the same time, you do not suffer from an Internet Addiction disorder just because you are using the internet a lot to shop online frequently, watch a lot of YouTube videos or to check social media. When all these activities start to interfere in your daily life, the problem arises.
The Reasons Behind It
Just like many other disorders, it is not possible to pinpoint the exact cause of Internet Addiction Disorder, multiple contributing factors are present here.
Studies suggest that in case you are a victim of Internet Addiction Disorder, the makeup of your brain is almost similar to those of individuals who are suffering from a chemical dependency, like alcohol or drugs.
Some studies also have stated that internet addiction can change the physical structure of the brain, particularly affecting the amount of white and gray matter in the brain’s region. This particular area of the brain is responsible for attention, remembering details, prioritizing tasks, and planning.
In addition to that, internet addiction disorder also seems to affect the brain’s pleasure center. It means this addictive behavior triggers the release of dopamine in order to promote a pleasurable experience.
As time passes, you need to increase the frequency of the particular activity for inducing the same amount of pleasure response, and eventually, a dependency is created.
That means, in case you are into online gaming or online shopping and have developed internet addiction, you are required to engage in the particular behavior more and more to get the same pleasure you used to feel prior to your dependency.
Symptoms Of Internet Addiction
Now come to the symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder which can be both physical and emotional. Let’s start with the emotional symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder.
- Mood swings
- Boredom with routine tasks
- Avoidance of work
- No sense of time
- Inability to keep or prioritize schedules
- When using the computer, a feeling of euphoria
- Feeling of guilt
Physical symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder also might include the following:
- Weight loss or gain
- Dry eyes, along with other vision-related problems
- Neck pain
- Poor personal hygiene, such as not bathing in order to stay online
- Poor nutrition, such as eating excessively or failing to eat to avoid being away from the computer
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
Diagnosing Internet Addiction
For the identification of internet Addiction Disorder, there are five diagnostic criteria. They are stated below.
- Is the individual preoccupied with the internet, for example, constantly thinking about future use or past use?
- Does the person have to access the internet for an increased amount of time in order to gain satisfaction?
- Has the individual made some unsuccessful efforts of controlling, sitting back, or stopping the usage of the internet?
- Has the individual become irritable, depressed, moody, and restless when they are attempting to control the use of the internet?
- Has the person stayed online for longer than they originally intended?
Along with all the above, in a diagnosis of an internet addiction disorder, one of the following has to be present.
- The victim has lied to therapists, family members, or others in order to hide their internet usage.
- The patient has risked or jeopardized the loss of a significant relationship, career, education, or job opportunity just because of the internet.
- The individual uses the internet as one way of escaping from the problems or relieving a dysphoric mood, such as helplessness, depression, anxiety, and guilt.
In case you are suffering from internet addiction and want to seek help, you will be given a questionnaire or mental tests in order to determine your dependency on the internet.
The most common assessment tools include the following.
- Young’s internet addiction test.
- The CUIS or Compulsive Internet use Scale.
- The PIUQ or Problematic Internet Use Questionnaire.
The Available Treatment Options
The treatment of internet addiction disorder mainly focuses on therapy and counseling. The usual treatment options are as follows.
- Reality therapy.
- Recreation therapy.
- Art therapy.
- Equine therapy.
- CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
- DBT or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
- Behavior modification.
- Group, Individual, or family therapy.
Just the way a drug addict or an individual who is suffering from alcoholism needs proper treatment and medical attention for coming sober and leading an addiction-free life. In case you are suffering from an internet addiction disorder, you also need proper treatment. So, without wasting further time, consult with a therapist today.
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