Internet and Computer Addiction Treatment Program Options
Although the Internet has made it possible for individuals around the globe to network in ways previously not believed to be possible, that convenience does present the risk of addiction. When use of the Internet has become compulsive to the point that it is interfering with your work, daily life and personal relationships, you may be using it too much.
What Causes Internet/Computer Addictions?
According to the American Journal of Psychiatry, Internet addiction is comprised of three different subtypes. These subtypes are sexual preoccupations, gaming, and email or text messaging. Each of these different types of Internet addiction feature four common components:
- Excessive use
- Negative repercussions
As computers, laptops and tablets become increasingly commonplace in today’s modern world, the question of how much Internet usage is too much naturally arises and thus, leads to the query of what causes Internet and computer addictions. It should be understood that everyone’s experience of using the Internet is different. Some people rely on the Internet extensively for their jobs. Others take advantage of the Internet to socialize with family and friends who do not live nearby. Ultimately, use of the Internet may become a problem when you begin to neglect important areas of your life, such as school, work or relationships in order to use the computer.
According to the National Institutes of Health, it is the rewarding nature of the Internet that could be responsible for the development of Internet addiction. It has long been established that addictions are responsible for activating various areas of the brain that are linked to pleasure. Collectively, these sites are known as the pleasure pathway. When these sites are activated, the brain increases production of dopamine and various other neurochemicals. As time passes, the need for increased stimulation of the brain’s reward center, in order to produce the same feelings, may develop. As a result, the individual may require increasing amounts of certain behavior patterns in order to avoid symptoms of withdrawal.
The National Institutes of Health reports that it is now believed the use of digital technology, including the Internet, may provide users with multiple reward levels. Many people may initially use the Internet casually and subsequently develop an addiction for a variety of reasons, including the desire to relieve unpleasant feelings, such as anxiety, depression or loneliness.
The following symptoms could indicate Internet or computer addiction:
- Losing track of time spent online
- Experiencing difficulty completing tasks at home or work
- Isolation from friends and family
- Feeling defensive or guilty about Internet usage
- Experiencing a sense of euphoria when involved in online activities
Individuals who have an Internet addiction may also experience physical symptoms that could include:
- Strained vision
- Sleep problems
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Significant weight loss or weight gain
- Severe headaches
Internet addiction has become a global problem. The American Journal of Psychiatry reports that Internet addiction is now considered one of the most serious health issues facing South Korea while approximately 10 million teenagers in China are considered Internet addicts.
Is There a Cure for Online Addiction?
If you believe that you or someone close to you may be suffering from an Internet addiction, it is important that you know there is help available. While total abstinence is advocated in the treatment of many addictions, including those involving alcohol and drugs, the National Institutes of Health reports there is now a general consensus that completely abstaining from Internet usage should not be the ultimate goal of treatment. Instead, it is preferable to abstain from applications that have proven to be problematic for the user and work toward achieving an Internet usage level that strikes a healthy balance.
Therapies for Online Addicts
Therapies for online addicts are now available. In addition to traditional cognitive-behavioral approaches, other therapeutic methods are being explored in the treatment of Internet and computer addictions.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment
One of the most important aspects related to a cognitive behavioral treatment for Internet addictions is to explore the patient’s specific usage patterns and then introduce new schedules in order to interrupt previously established patterns. External stoppers, including activities that require the addict to actually exit the Internet, may also be used. Many treatment programs also assist the patient in establishing goals regarding the amount of time they use the Internet.
Support groups may also prove to be helpful in the treatment of Internet addiction by compensating for the lack of social support that the patient initially sought to get through Internet and computer usage. If relational problems exist within the patient’s family, the individual may also benefit from engaging in family therapy or marriage therapy.
Other Therapeutic Methods
Other therapeutic methods are also being examined in the treatment of Internet addiction, including the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) for the treatment of certain symptoms that may accompany Internet addiction, including anxiety and depression. If you believe that you or someone close to you may be addicted to the Internet or computer usage, it is important to seek professional help for your internet addiction. Please contact us at for assistance in locating appropriate treatment.
Residential Inpatient Internet Addiction Treatment Centers
In many instances, it is often helpful to recover from an addiction, including ones involving the Internet, in a professionally staffed facility. Residential or inpatient, Internet addiction treatment centers are designed to specifically address the symptoms related to Internet addiction and help you recover in a supportive and medically supervised environment. Patients can take advantage of residential treatment programs located in a variety of settings, including those close to home as well as those situated in serene environments, such as the mountains and near the beach.
The Benefits of Residential Internet Addiction Treatments
The benefits of residential Internet addiction treatments can be enormous. Due to the wide prevalence of the Internet in everyday modern life, many people struggling with an addiction may find it difficult, if not impossible, to monitor their own usage. This can be particularly true if you are required to use the Internet or a computer for your job. By taking some time away and entering a residential treatment program, you will be able to step away from temptation and learn how to cope with your addiction in a supervised environment. A residential treatment facility will be staffed with professionals who are trained in understanding what is involved with an Internet and computer addiction and who will be able to guide you through an effective treatment program.
A residential treatment program can also be helpful in terms of diagnosing other possible health disorders or addictions that may be present and that could potentially complicate your recovery if left untreated. In addition, you will have the opportunity to participate in a variety of beneficial programs, including individual and group therapy, while in a residential program. Such therapy sessions can often prove to be beneficial by helping you to identify how your addiction developed, and what you can do in the future to avoid situations that could lead to relapse.
Luxury Computer and Internet Addiction Facilities
There are many different types of residential treatment programs available, including luxury computer and Internet addiction facilities. Such facilities are designed to ensure your complete comfort as you recover in a relaxing environment. You or your loved one may be able to take advantage of a number of different amenities while in treatment, including private accommodations, spa treatments, fitness programs and gourmet meals.
Executive Computer and Internet Addiction Programs
Executive computer and Internet addiction programs are also available. Such programs are often most suitable for professionals who have found they are suffering from an addiction to computer and Internet usage. If you feel that you simply are not able to take time away from your business, but you recognize the need for treatment, this could be an appropriate treatment solution. In the case of a residential executive addiction program, you will be able to benefit from the provision of office-related amenities, ensuring you are able to continue managing your business. The main difference that sets an executive computer and Internet addiction program apart from other treatment programs is that you will be provided with the ability to maintain a strong relationship with the office back home while at the same time receiving the critical treatment you need to overcome your addiction.
Outpatient Internet/Computer Rehab and Treatment Programs
Outpatient Internet/computer rehab and treatment programs are also available. This type of program may be most suitable if you simply are not able to take time away from your family or your job in order to receive treatment. While attending this type of program, you will be able to live at home and check in with the center regularly for treatment.
Prescription and Over-the-Counter Medications
The use of prescription and over-the-counter medications in the treatment of Internet addiction may be advisable in certain situations. Addictions can be highly personal and may sometimes involve co-occurring disorders such as anxiety and depression. When this is the case, some patients may benefit from the use of medications that are relevant to their particular conditions. Currently, there are no over-the-counter medications that are known to assist with the treatment of Internet addictions.
How to Find the Best Online Addiction Treatment Facility
When you need to know how to find the best online addiction treatment facility, it is important to take into account a variety of elements. First, consider whether you or your loved one would benefit more from a residential or outpatient program. Although an outpatient program does offer the benefit of being able to continue living at home, many patients may find that the structured environment and medical supervision of a residential program is more conducive to a full recovery. It is also important to consider whether you need to attend treatment near home or whether you are able to travel for treatment. Also, consider the types of amenities you would prefer to have available while attending treatment. Finally, take the reputation of the facility into consideration. How long has the facility been open? Does the facility specialize in the treatment of online addiction?
Finding the right online addiction treatment facility is the first step to a new future. In a report released by the Stanford School of Medicine, more than 13 percent of people interviewed found it difficult to abstain from the Internet for several days at a time. If you need help locating an Internet addiction treatment facility for yourself or a loved one, please call us today at . Internet and computer addiction treatment program options are available.