Internet Addiction, otherwise known as computer addiction, online addiction, or Internet addiction disorder (IAD), covers a variety of impulse-control problems, including:
- Cybersex Addiction – compulsive use of Internet pornography, adult chat rooms, or adult fantasy role-play sites impacting negatively on real-life intimate relationships.
- Cyber-Relationship Addiction – addiction to social networking, chat rooms, texting, and messaging to the point where virtual, online friends become more important than real-life relationships with family and friends.
- Net Compulsions – such as compulsive online gaming, gambling, stock trading, or compulsive use of online auction sites such as eBay, often resulting in financial and job-related problems.
- Information Overload – compulsive web surfing or database searching, leading to lower work productivity and less social interaction with family and friends.
- Computer Addiction – obsessive playing of off-line computer games, such as Solitaire or Minesweeper, or obsessive computer programming.
Many people turn to the Internet in order to manage unpleasant feelings such as stress, loneliness, depression, and anxiety. The internet is an easily accessible outlet when someone is looking for a way to escape their problems or to quickly relieve stress or self-soothe. Losing oneself online can temporarily make feelings of loneliness, stress, anxiety, depression, and boredom disappear.
Characteristics of Internet Gaming include:
- Repetitive use that leads to significant issues with functioning
- Preoccupation and obsession when not online
- Build-up of tolerance, with more time needed to be spent online
- Unable to stop or curb
- Loss of interest in life activities
- Continued overuse, even with knowledge of the impact on other people’s lives
- Lying about time online
- Going online to escape and relieve feelings of anxiety or guilt
- Risking or losing opportunities and/or relationships
If you would like more information about The Soothing Minds Freedom Program or would like to make an appointment, please contact me on 8448 1106.