The internet makes life easier with more accessible information available every moment of every day. One of the very real dangers of having access to this much information all the time is that people can spend too much time in front of a screen (laptop, tablet, desktop) so much so it becomes the central focus of a person’s life. Addiction can then develop as a result. Learn the warning signs of addiction to the internet.
Internet addiction is seen as quite popular and common among young people, particularly those who are only children. One in four children is estimated to be addicted to the internet which is becoming a larger problem everyday. Internet addiction can manifest in several ways which vary in many degrees of usage including:
- Information overload from too much time surfing online which leads to reduced productivity in life and work
- Decreased social engagement with family, friends and social circles
- Compulsions towards gaming, stock trading, gambling and online auctions
- Cybersex addiction or pornography viewing which can impact real-life relationships
- Cyber-relationship addiction including social networking sites rather than focusing on engagement in real life
Reasons for Addiction
Individuals who struggle with internet addiction may feel overwhelmed, stressed, depressed, lonely or anxious. The internet can be a place of solace and escape. Certain people may be predisposed to having an internet or computer addiction such as those who suffer from anxiety and depression. The lack of a social net and emotional support means the individual turns to the internet to fill this need. Those individuals who have a history of other types of addictions to alcohol, drugs, sex or gambling may also be more predisposed to internet addiction.
Signs of Trouble
Both physical and mental symptoms may appear as a result of internet addiction. Each person will demonstrate different symptoms but some of the following are the most common:
- Feelings of guilt
- Euphoric feelings in front of the computer
- Difficulty keeping schedules
- Loses sense of time
- Increased agitative state
- Weight gain or loss
- Sleep disturbances
- Carpal tunnel
- Blurred vision
Short or Long-Term Effects
Some of the short-term effects of online addiction may include unfinished tasks, forgotten responsibilities and weight gain. Long-term effects may result in more physical issues such as carpal tunnel or vision problems from staring at the screen. It may also lead to bankruptcy if the addiction includes online shopping, gambling or gaming.
Addiction may be triggered by underlying emotional disorders so medication can be used for individuals who consult with a treating physician about helping treat the underlying cause. Antidepressants or anti-anxiety medication is the typical treatment.
No matter the underlying cause for internet addiction, there is help available. If a loved one is struggling with internet addiction, recovery and healing are possible with the right support and treatment.
Hired Power believes in the power of treatment programs to support individuals with internet addiction. Recovery and healing are possible. Call us to find out how to get started on the journey to health and a life free of addiction.