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Internet Addiction

in Behavioral

In modern society the Internet is readily available and provides a constant, ever-changing source of information and entertainment. The Internet can be accessed from most smart phones as well as tablets, laptops, and desk top computers.
Social networks, Email, blogs, and message boards allow for both public and anonymous communication about any topic. But how much is too much Internet usage?
 
Internet addiction is best described as an impulse control disorder, which does not involve use of an intoxicating drug and is very similar to pathological gambling.
This oftentimes followed by emotional attachment to on-line friends and activities they create on their computer screens.
Similar to other addictions, those suffering from addiction to the Internet use the virtual fantasy world to connect with real people online, as a substitution for real-life human connection, which they are unable to achieve normally.
 
Each person’s Internet use is different.
You may need to use the Internet extensively for your work such as monitoring someone’s home or a programmer, SEO, for example, or you might rely heavily on social networking sites to keep in touch with family and friends. Now spending a long time online only becomes a problem when it absorbs too much of your time, causing you to neglect your relationships, your family, work, school, or other important things in your life.
If you keep repeating compulsive Internet behavior despite the negative consequences in your offline life, then it’s time to strike a new balance.

 
Signs and symptoms of Internet addiction

  • Losing track of time online.
  • Do you frequently find yourself on the Internet longer than you intended?
  • Does a few minutes turn in to a few hours? Do you get irritated or cranky if your online time is interrupted?
  • Having trouble completing tasks at work or home?
  • Do you find laundry piling up and little food in the house for dinner because you’ve been busy online?
  • Working late at work more often because you can’t complete your work on time — then staying even longer when everyone else has gone home so you can use the Internet freely.
     

Isolation from family and friends.

  • Is your social life suffering because of all the time you spend online? Are you neglecting your family and friends?
  • Do you feel like no one in your “real” life — even your spouse — understands you like your online friends?

 
Feeling guilty or defensive about your Internet use.

  • Are you sick of your spouse nagging you to get off the computer and spend time together?
  • Do you hide your Internet use or lie to your boss and family about the amount of time you spend on the computer and what you do while you're online?

 
Feeling a sense of euphoria while involved in Internet activities.

  • Do you use the Internet as an outlet when stressed, sad, or for sexual gratification or excitement?
  • Have you tried to limit your Internet time but failed?

Other Internet addiction Symptoms may Include:

  • Failed attempts to control behavior
  • Heightened sense of euphoria while involved in computer and Internet activities
  • Neglecting friends and family
  • Neglecting sleep to stay online
  • Being dishonest with others
  • Feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of online behavior
  • Physical changes such as weight gain or loss, backaches, headaches, carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Withdrawing from other pleasurable activities

 
Physical symptoms of Internet addiction

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome (pain and numbness in hands and wrists)
  • Dry eyes or strained vision
  • Back aches and neck aches; severe headaches
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Pronounced weight gain or weight loss

 
 

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