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Internet Addiction Treatment

For many, the internet is a tool that is regularly used for work, home and school functions and it does not interfere with daily activities or routines in any way but for others, the internet becomes an obsession that leads to a lack of productivity, a continuous desire to surf the web and an inability to control one’s actions once online. Internet addiction, though a relatively new disorder, is a very real problem that affects thousands of children, teens and adults causing interference with work, life, personal relationships and everyday activities.

Although there are no real physical dependence issues that result from an internet addiction such as there would be from a substance abuse addiction, this does not mean that internet addiction is any easier to treat. The psychological dependence that comes from online gaming, shopping, gambling, socializing or simply just surfing the web can be so strong, the individual will require many months or even years of therapy in order to fully overcome the psychological factors that result from this disease.

Recognizing the Signs of Internet Addiction

How does one know if internet addiction is a problem or not? What are the signs and what makes some use of the internet “ok” and other use “not ok?” All of these questions come into mind when you begin to think about whether or not you or someone you love has a problem with internet addiction. The following signs of internet addiction may warrant the need for help:

  • preoccupation with the internet and a desire to surf the web despite other activities or events taking place
  • spending large amounts of time online taking part in activities that are not productive such as gaming, shopping, gambling or just browsing
  • having an irresistible desire to use the internet despite the known devastation that such use is causing your relationships
  • telling lies to cover up the amount of time that you spend online or the actions or activities that you are partaking in while on the internet.

If you or someone you love has shown any of the above signs of internet addiction, treatment is available and may be a suitable option for help. Most of the time, treatment for internet addiction will not require any changes in living status and will not take place in a residential facility. You can typically get the support and assistance that you need via community support groups and outpatient treatment programs.

About Outpatient Treatment for Internet Addiction

The methods that are used to treat your internet addiction will revolve around the reasons for your addiction. For instance, if you are using the internet primarily as a means of socializing, methods of treatment may include teaching you how to socialize in person with others, showing you how to interact in public and helping you to build real relationships through group therapy. The foundation of any outpatient treatment program is usually a series of therapy that takes place in both individual and group sessions.

Often times, those who are addicted to the internet become addicted as a result of a desire to take part in an activity that they once took part in outside of the home such as gambling or shopping. Some use the internet as a way to “hide” their addiction by shopping or gambling online rather than outside of the home where friends and family members would be more apt to notice that they are gone or that they are spending money. It is not known exactly if an addiction to shopping or gambling online is the same and can be treated the same as an addiction to shopping or gambling in real brick and mortar facilities but many of the methods of treatment do remain the same across the board. Counseling and therapy provide the foundation for recovery in both cases.