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Internet addiction is characterized by excessive or poorly controlled preoccupations, urges, or behaviors regarding computer use and Internet access that lead to impairment or distress.” When a person becomes addicted to the Internet, this issue will begin to cause major problems in their life and may even put them at risk for physical and psychological harm. If you think you may be addicted to the Internet, it is important to ask yourself if you should attend treatment for this matter.
Am I Addicted to the Internet?
You should first ask yourself whether or not your Internet use is a true addiction and learn to understand if it is compulsive, harmful, and serious enough to be classified as such. Then you can consider your need for treatment and how you would like to receive help. Some people merely enjoy being online more than anything else and may be obsessed with the behavior; however, these individuals can still lead productive lives and avoid serious issues associated with their Internet use. Those who are addicted to the behavior usually cannot.
Here is a list of the signs associated with Internet addiction, of which one must exhibit three or more to be considered addicted. Ask yourself the questions below to discover whether you fall into this category.
- Do you notice yourself spending more and more time online because it never seems like enough or in order to feel the same sense of satisfaction?”
- Do you ever experience anxiety, moodiness, compulsive fantasizing, or depression when you cannot go online?
- Does being able to go online relieve you of these issues?
- Do you use the Internet often to combat feelings of loneliness, depression, anger, guilt, anxiety, etc.?
- Do you spend a lot of time “engaging in other activities related to the Internet” like reading books about going online, researching websites, planning out what you will do once you’re online, etc.?
- Do you neglect to spend time with your family and friends in order to go online?
- Has your work ethic suffered because of your Internet use?
- Have you stopped enjoying other activities that you used to enjoy if they do not relate to the Internet?
- Are you prepared to lose other important things in your life (your job, your friends, etc.) in order to spend more time or enough time online?
- Do you lose track of time often when online?
- Does your Internet usage feel as if it is out of your control much of the time?
If you answered yes to many of these questions, you are an Internet addict. It would likely be beneficial to you to attend some sort of treatment.