July 22, 2019

Internet Addiction

Internet & Gaming Addiction

Probably one of the fastest growing addictions on the planet!

Have you ever been in an International Airport and looked at what other people are doing? Very few if any people are talking to one another, rather they have their faces stuck in a cell phone or I-pad! Children are introduced to cell phones at very tender ages with little or no restrictions on the phone stopping them from accessing the internet. Internet Addiction pretty much forces the more chronic addict to isolate themselves from the outside world so as they can engage in a world of fantasy and control. There are a number of interactive ‘games’ on the internet which invites players from all over the world to ‘combat’ and compete against each other. I think some of the more involved games offer prizes!

Twin Rivers Rehab has started to experience an increase in people ringing up for advise about internet and gaming addiction and report the followings experiences:

  • Excessive amounts of time spent on the internet-sometimes days on end without washing or eating much
  • Anti-social behaviours including aggression, defensiveness and making excuses for their behaviour, also blaming others for their behaviour
  • Poor communication skills and preoccupied with getting onto the internet
  • Socially awkward and difficulties in socialising
  • General lack of self care, unkempt and a general presentation of being disinterested in anything outside of the internet
  • Selfishness with no interest in how their behaviour is affecting other family members
  • Lack of interest in going out too much to shop or go for dinner

Internet Addiction Disorder

‘Internet addiction disorder’ (IAD) is characterised by compulsive and excessive use of the internet (world wide web), to the point where it interferes with the sufferer’s daily life. Although internet addiction is still not acknowledged as a legitimate clinical disorder by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), more and more professionals are developing treatment methods as the internet continues to grow and penetrate deeper into the fabric of society.

Internet addiction is very often linked to other existing mental health issues, depression and social disorders for example. It is for this reason that it is so important to consult a mental health professional in cases of IAD. While treating IAD as a symptom, a therapist will also assist in identifying the root of the problem and assist with various strategies and techniques that can strengthen a clients recovery process.

Many clients do manage to reduce or even stop their own internet overuse, other cases may require strict intervention before the disorder is allowed to wreak havoc on the sufferer’s social and professional lives. There are reported cases of internet addicts wearing nappies so as not to have to go to the toilet and internet addicts who have lost sight of reality and lose interest in self-care. Most ‘things’ learned can be unlearned but an addict that has been sitting in front of a computer for days, weeks, months and years on end all struggle to adjust to real life just as much as the heroin addict does!

Internet Addiction Treatment

Internet addiction treatment usually focuses on identifying the root cause of the problem based on the type of activities that the sufferer is addicted to. These range from excessive gaming, viewing of pornography, blogging, emailing or extensive Facebook use.  Online gaming addiction has become increasingly popular and has led to a rise in available treatments and programs that may assist with the clients recovery process.

Internet addiction is another manifestation of an addictive personality, one which may be replaced by other, more physically and socially damaging forms of addiction. If you or one of your loved ones is spending excessive periods of time on the internet for non-work related purposes, and this will definetly be having a negative impact on their lives.

Contact Twin Rivers Rehab now! We’re always available to answer your questions and provide some advice with regards to internet and other internet related addictions.