What Is Internet Addiction?
Do you spend too much time on the Internet playing video games? Are you a compulsive internet shopper? Can’t seem to stop yourself from checking Facebook? Is your excessive computer use interfering with your personal life, job, or school? If you responded yes to any of these questions, you might have Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD), also known as Compulsive Internet Use (CIU), Problematic Internet Use (PIU), or iDisorder. It was first contested as a “real thing” before being satirically postulated as a condition in 1995 by Dr. Ivan Goldberg, MD, who related it to pathological gambling.
The current version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders does not yet include Internet addiction. Two-year research financed by the National Institutes of Health, on the other hand, might change that. The study, which began in August 2017, may provide adequate evidence that issues arising from excessive internet use warrant significant consideration by the mental health and psychiatric communities in the United States. To help with therapy, professionals who detect internet addiction label it as either an obsessive-compulsive disorder or an impulse control problem. Compulsive computer usage, pathological internet use, and online dependency are all terms used to describe internet addiction.
read also: Porn Addiction, Withdrawal, Symptoms, and Therapy
Since this form of fraud, the condition has quickly gained traction and is now being treated as a significant disabling disorder by many experts, mental health counselors, and physicians. Despite the fact that it is not formally classified as a condition in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), it is quite common in American and European cultures, affecting up to 8.2% of the general population. According to some statistics, it affects up to 38% of the general population. The vast variation in prevalence rates might be due to the fact that no accurate and standardized criteria for Internet Addiction Disorder have been established.
What Causes It?
It’s unlikely to find a specific reason for Internet Addiction Disorder, as it is with other conditions. Multiple contributing elements are a hallmark of this illness. According to some data, people with Internet Addiction Disorder have a brain composition that is comparable to people who have a chemical dependency, such as narcotics or alcohol. Some studies have linked Internet Addiction Disorder to physical changes in the brain structure, notably altering the quantity of gray and white matter in prefrontal brain areas. This part of the brain is involved in the detailed recall, attention, planning, and task prioritization.
5 Types Of Internet Addiction
One of the most self-explanatory internet addictions is cybersex addiction. Pornography on the internet, adult websites, sexual fantasy/adult chat rooms, and XXX webcam services are all part of it. Obsessing over any of these services might make it difficult to build real-life sexual, romantic, or personal connections. Those suffering from cybersex addictions can receive treatment in the form of intervention followed by inpatient or outpatient therapy.
Interactive online behaviors that can be exceedingly hazardous, such as online gambling, stock trading, online auctions (such as eBay), and obsessive online shopping, are examples of net compulsions. These behaviors might jeopardize one’s financial security and cause work-related disruptions. Excessive spending or loss of money can also put a strain on one’s relationships.
Computer Or Gaming Addiction
Computer addiction, often known as computer game addiction, refers to the use of a computer for both online and offline activities. Games like Solitaire, Tetris, and Minesweeper were programmed into computer software as computers became more readily available. Obsessive computer game playing was immediately identified as an issue in specific situations by researchers. Office workers would waste a significant amount of time playing these games, resulting in a significant drop in productivity.
Compulsive Information Seeking
Users may access a multitude of information and data over the internet. For some, the ease with which they can acquire information has transformed into an insatiable need to collect and arrange data. In certain circumstances, knowledge-seeking is a symptom of underlying obsessive-compulsive disorders. Compulsive information-seeking can also lower workplace productivity and lead to job loss.
Cyber (Online) Relationship Addiction
Cyber or online connection junkies are preoccupied with establishing and sustaining relationships online, sometimes disregarding and forgetting about their real-life family and friends. Online relationships are most commonly created in chat rooms or on various social networking sites, although they may happen anywhere individuals can engage online. People who pursue internet connections sometimes do so while hiding their true identity and looks, leading to the coining of the phrase “catfish.”
What are the Symptoms?
The physical and emotional aspects of Internet Addiction Disorder are both possible signs and symptoms. The following are some of the emotional signs of Internet Addiction Disorder:
- Feelings of guilt
- Feelings of Euphoria when using the Computer
- Inability to Prioritize or Keep Schedules
- No Sense of Time
- Avoidance of Work
- Mood Swings
- Boredom with Routine Tasks
The following are some of the physical signs and symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
- Poor Nutrition (failing to eat or eating in excessively to avoid being away from the computer)
- Poor Personal Hygiene (e.g., not bathing to stay online)
- Neck Pain
- Dry Eyes and other Vision Problems
- Weight Gain or Loss
Recognizing that a problem exists is the first step towards treatment. You are unlikely to seek treatment if you do not feel you have a problem. One of the most pervasive issues with the Internet is that it frequently lacks responsibility and restrictions. You’re concealed behind a screen, and some of the things you say or do online would never be said or done in person.
- Individual, group, or family therapy
- Behavior modification
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Equine Therapy
- Art Therapy
- Recreation Therapy
- Reality Therapy