The Internet has become a regular daily activity for many people. Just like the use of food, the drinking of alcohol or the purchasing of material things can escalate into misuse and abuse, so can one’s interest in and preoccupation with using the Internet become an addiction.
Internet addiction disorder covers a variety of compulsive Internet activities including the following:
- Cybersex and pornography
- Online gambling
- Gaming addiction
- Online shopping addiction
Internet addiction symptoms
- Losing track of time while on the computer.
- Isolating oneself from family and friends.
- Feelings of guilt and defensiveness
- Being unsuccessful when attempting to stop or limit your computer use.
- Lying to your family, friends, or supervisor about the amount of time spent on the computer and what you do while on it.
- Feeling anxious, depressed, or irritable when your computer time is shortened or interrupted.
- Physical symptoms like back ache, neck ache, headaches, sleep difficulties, carpal tunnel syndrome and weight gain or loss.
There are many addiction treatments, one of which is counseling. Counseling can help you to examine and change the thoughts and behaviors that may be fueling your Internet Dependence, as well as provide you with healthier coping strategies and support. The ultimate goal of counseling is to help individuals either reduce or stop their addiction all together, depending on their specific needs and goals. A counselor may also use a technique known as cognitive-behavioural therapy, which is a way of changing an individual’s thoughts and behaviours surrounding a certain act or issue. A counselor will work with you to help you make sense of your circumstances, to identify your choices for change and to offer support throughout the entire process.
Counseling is a safe and confidential way of exploring your addiction and the affect it is having on your well-being and fulfillment.