Nowadays, the Internet is a common tool for work and play. For some people, though, the Internet can be a distraction from everyday life, or worse, a dangerous addiction that destroys lives and relationships. People with Internet addiction are defined as people whose life, work, and relationships are negatively affected because they spend too much time online. Internet addiction covers a variety of Internet-related problems, which include: online gambling addiction, online shopping addiction, social networking addiction, cybersex or pornography addiction, cyber-relationship addiction, online gaming addiction, and information overload or compulsive web searching. These addictions can be treated through counselling, cognitive behavioural therapy, and long-term recovery programs. If any of the following sound familiar, you may have an Internet addiction.
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About Internet Addiction
Internet use becomes a problem when it starts to interfere with everyday life, work, school, family, and relationships. The most common types of Internet addiction are cybersex addiction, online gambling addiction, and cyber-relationship addiction. For many people with Internet addiction, the Internet is a way to block out or ignore unpleasant feelings. Internet usage then becomes associated with pleasant feelings and stress release, and thus becomes addictive. Many people who suffer from Internet addiction also suffer from other issues such as anxiety, depression, and stress, as well as other types of addictions.
Treatment of Internet Addiction
There are a number of methods used to treat Internet addiction. These include: cognitive-behavioural therapy, group support, counselling, and use of content-control software. For those suffering from cybersex or pornography addiction, marriage or couples' counselling can also be used as a treatment. There can be underlying issues causing the addiction, and in order to treat Internet addiction, these issues must also be treated through therapy, group support, or other means. Another method of dealing with Internet addiction is to find offline activities such as team sports, walking, cycling, art, or other hobbies that can provide enjoyment and happiness in place of the Internet.
Post Rehabilitation of Internet Addiction
Since Internet addiction is a relatively new phenomenon, support groups can be difficult to find. Many therapists and counsellors, however, can provide you with the tools you need to overcome this problem. Many programs recommend long-term recovery periods of eight weeks or more for Internet addicts to wean themselves off of Internet use, and then slowly re-introduce it in a healthy and positive manner.
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