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Internet Addiction Treatment Programs

Table of Contents

What is Internet Addiction?

Internet addiction is defined as the compulsive use of the Internet despite the fact it is having negative consequences on the individual. Most people have some kind of Internet service in their homes, and while many see it as a handy piece of modern technology, it has a dark side for some people. Internet addiction is often dismissed as being an exaggerated addiction, with many people believing addicts need to do nothing more than exercise self-control. However, according to a report by Virginia Tech, Internet addiction is a very real dependence, with symptoms, tolerance, and withdrawals.

Signs You Are Addicted to the Internet

Just as with any other type of addiction, people who are addicted to the Internet may display certain signs. Generally, an increased use of the Internet is not enough justification for addiction, and the Virginia Tech report states that people should display two or more symptoms of addiction before being considered for an Internet addiction treatment program. People who are preoccupied or constantly talking about the Internet may be exhibiting signs of addiction. If this is accompanied with being secretive about their online use and with irritability behaviors when questioned, the likelihood of Internet addiction increases. People who are addicted have described feelings of euphoria when using the Internet and feel restless or irritable when unable to access a computer. If people have tried repeatedly to stop or restrict their Internet use without success, this may also indicate they are dependent on the Internet. This kind of addiction can be isolating for these individuals, especially as they may not realize they have a problem. This means they are often unsure or too worried to consider asking for help. If you believe you are displaying signs you are addicted to the Internet, you can call our 24-hour helpline on 1-888-439-3435 Who Answers? for confidential advice.

Internet Addiction Treatment Programs

internet addictionOnce people feel ready to tell others they have a problem, there is help for Internet addicts available. According to Dr. Kimberly Young of The Center of Online Addiction (COA), counseling is the most effective treatment for Internet addiction. Dr Young believes that many people who suffer from this type of dependency do so because of other underlying problems in their life. These problems could be a poor relationship, a bad childhood, or a self-esteem issue. Experts also believe people use the Internet as a form of escapism-a way to get away from the pressures of life. While some people know when to stop, others see it as a permanent replacement for reality. The first step of any Internet addiction program is an assessment provided by a doctor or another trained professional. This means addicts will receive the treatment most suitable to their needs. Medication is only used when medical professionals believe there is an underlying anxiety or mood disorder, which may delay the person’s recovery. People can attend their treatment program as an inpatient or an outpatient, depending on how severe their Internet addiction is.

Internet Addiction Counseling

Therapy is an important part of any addiction recovery program, as it addresses the strong psychological dependency, which keeps people using the Internet despite being aware of the negative effects it has on their lives. A therapist will work one-on-one with an individual at first, helping the client understand the addiction and the individual triggers. The therapist will also educate the individuals on how to cope with life stresses and problems, which ordinarily may encourage them to turn to the Internet to escape. Depending on the individuals and the severity of their addiction, group therapy may also be an option. This allows addicts to share their experiences as well as lend each other’s support and encouragement. Many rehabilitation centers offer a mentor service, so the individuals have someone they can call or turn to when they feel tempted to relapse. Treatment for co-existing mental health issues is also paramount to a successful recovery. Ongoing counseling is important, especially as a relapse is most likely to happen in the first 12 months of recovery. If you would like to know more about Internet addiction treatment services, call our confidential helpline at 1-888-439-3435 Who Answers? for free advice. Alternatively, you can complete a quick reply form.