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Internet Addiction Treatment
What Is Internet Addiction?
Can’t physically stop checking Facebook? Is your excessive computer use interfering with your daily life – relationships, work, school? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may be suffering from Internet Addition Disorder, also commonly referred to as Compulsive Internet Use (CIU), Problematic Internet Use (PIU), or iDisorder. Though not officially recognized as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV), its prevalence in American and European cultures is staggering – affecting up to 8.2% of the general population. However, some reports suggest it affects up to 38% of the general population. The widely variable difference in prevalence rates might be contributed to the fact that no true and standardized criteria has been selected for Internet Addiction Disorder. It is researched differently among scientists and mental health professionals. And, it is researched differently across ethnic cultures.
What are the Symptoms?
Signs and symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder may present themselves in both physical and emotional manifestations. Some of the emotional symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder may include:
- 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
Physical Symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder may include:
- 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
What are the effects of Internet Addiction Disorder? If you are suffering from this disorder, it might be affecting your personal relationships, work life, finances, or school life. Individuals suffering from this condition may be isolating themselves from others, spending a long time in social isolation and negatively impacting their personal relationships. Distrust and dishonesty issues may also arise due to Internet addicts trying to hide or deny the amount of time they spend online. In addition, these individuals may create alternate personas online in an attempt to mask their online behaviors. Serious financial troubles may also result from avoidance of work, bankruptcy due to continued online shopping, online gaming, or online gambling. Internet addicts may also have trouble developing new relationships and socially withdraw – as they feel more at ease in an online environment than a physical one.
How is it Diagnosed?
Though it is gaining traction in the mental health field – and recently added to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders as a disorder that needs more research, a standardized diagnosis of Internet Addiction Disorder has not been discovered. This is also a significant contributing factor to the overall variability in the disorder as a whole and wide range of prevalence in the population from 0.3% to a whopping 38%.
One of the more accepted diagnostic assessments of Internet Addiction Disorder has been proposed by KW Beard’s 2005 article in Cyberpsychology and Behavior. Beard proposes five diagnostic criteria in the identification of Internet Addiction Disorder in the general population:
- Is preoccupied with the Internet (constantly thinks about past use or future use)
- Needs to use the Internet with increased amounts of time to gain satisfaction
- Has made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop use of the Internet
- Is restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to control Internet use
- Has stayed online longer than originally intended
In addition, Beard (2005) suggests at least one of the following must also be present in a diagnosis of Internet Addiction Disorder:
- Has jeopardized or risked the loss of a significant relationship, job, educational, or career opportunity because of the Internet
- Has lied to family members, therapists, or others to conceal their involvement with the Internet
- Uses the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or to relieve a dysphoric mood (e.g., guilt, anxiety, depression, helplessness)
- If you have sought help with an Internet Addiction Disorder, you have likely been given a mental test or questionnaire of some sort to assess your dependency on the Internet. The most common assessment tools used to help make a diagnosis of Internet Addiction Disorder include:
What are the Treatment Options?
The first step in treatment is the recognition that a problem exists. If you do not believe you have a problem, you are not likely to seek treatment. One of the overarching problems with the Internet is that there is often no accountability and no limits. You are hidden behind a screen – and some things that you may say or do online are things you would never do in person.
Some of the more common psychological treatments of Internet Addiction Disorder include:
- Individual, group, or family therapy
- Behavior modification
- Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
- Equine Therapy
- Art Therapy
- Recreation Therapy
- Reality Therapy
Because of the prevalence of the disorder in the general population, treatment centers and programs have started to pop up in the US and across the globe.
In many instances, multimodal treatments have been employed to treat Internet Addiction Disorder. In this method of treatment, if you are suffering from this condition, you might be prescribed both medications and psychotherapy to treat your addiction to the Internet.
Creating an even more problematic interaction is the fact that everything is online nowadays. It’s hard to make a distinction between online and offline worlds. Everything is Internet-based. From ordering food, interacting with friends, playing games, and even watching tv. Adding an additional layer of confusion and distinction is that other digital technology is taking over the world as well – make access to computers even easier. Now, we don’t have to be physically sitting in front of the computer – we can do anything from anywhere with just our phones, tablets, or other electronic devices.
Still, other researchers question whether excessive Internet use is an addiction or an obsessive-compulsive or impulse-control disorder. Indeed, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is correct in its acknowledgement that much more research is needed to study this disorder.
Cutting-edge, evidence-based, holistic internet addiction treatment. Personalized & effective programs for residential and outpatient treatment.
Comprehensive Internet Addiction Approach
Our staff will work hard to determine the severity of your internet addiction and establish the best treatment options for you.
Once Internet addiction reaches a point where it takes over your life, abstinence is the only effective solution.
Luckily, there are many internet addiction treatment options. The tailored therapy techniques of Metamorphosis will effectively put you on the path to recovery.
Internet Addiction Treatment
We understand the effect internet addiction can have on impulse control. It can correlate with, or lead to, other behavioural addictions such as gambling addiction, despite the fact that neither of these addictions involves the use of substances.
Users can develop an unrealistic emotional attachment to people they meet online and activities they create on their computers through games or websites, and despite the fact that this can be socially acceptable in regulated sessions, it is a very severe condition that can affect the lives of users and their families.
in residential you will receive a personalized internet addiction disorder treatment specific to your personal needs. We also treat the addiction along with the underlying mental health issues (which are called concurrent disorders).
Before admission to our rehab centres, you will be asked to complete an intake form that our senior therapeutic staff will use as a foundation for creating your individualized treatment program.
Residential Internet Addiction Rehab
While in residential treatment at Metamorphosis, you will be working with industry-leading addiction treatment professionals and certified addiction counsellors that provide intensive care and support on your journey to long term sobriety.
At our Residential Treatment Centre we offer the most comprehensive, dynamic and effective residential internet addiction treatment you can find in Canada.