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Internet Addiction

Dec 15, 2007
Many experts have declined to comment on the status of the internet addiction disorder for a long time. It was not really intended to be part of the wide array of disorders that threaten the modern person's sanity at that time but as move on into the digital era, the very idea of internet addiction as a form of diseases is no longer remote. In fact, many health professionals are now convinced that too much attachment or destructive type of dependency on the internet can already be classified as a form of disease. Yes, there are still a lot of criticisms and discussions to be resolved before this type of disorder can be included in the books but the possibility that this type of disorder will indeed become a leading form of mental disorder in our generation is not really remote.

What most people online who think they are addicted are probably suffering from is the desire to not want to deal with other problems in their lives. Those problems may be a mental disorder (depression, anxiety, etc.), a serious health problem or disability, or a relationship problem. It is no different than turning on the TV so you won't have to talk to your spouse, or going "out with the boys" for a few drinks so you don't have to spend time at home. Nothing is different except the modality. What some very few people who spend time online without any other problems present may suffer from is compulsive over-use. Compulsive behaviors, however, are already covered by existing diagnostic categories and treatment would be similar. It's not the technology (whether it be the Internet, a book, the telephone, or the television) that is important or addicting -- it's the behavior. And behaviors are easily treatable by traditional cognitive-behavior techniques in psychotherapy.

People who work online and spend so much time working in front of their computers are not exactly what you may call as internet addicts. Internet addiction is much more than just spending some time online trying to earn a living. In fact, even if you spend several hours surfing the net but you do feel this obsessive need to be online most of the time, you cannot really say that you are already an addict. We must understand that addiction is a strong word and before you can say that you are addicted to something, you must have that uncontrollable and insatiable craving for that something. Internet addiction therefore should be viewed in a more complex manner than just simple need to be online most of the time.

When exactly can you be considered as an internet addict? According to some experts, internet addiction happens when one becomes dependent on some aspects of the internet. Having a pathological relationship with some specific online sires such as those online gambling, online auctions, adult sites and others can actually make one an internet addict. A lot of people who are hooked on these sites often become agitated and restless if they cannot log into the internet and check out these sites during the day. In fact, some people are known to spend long hours on these sites that they often forget some themselves. In most cases, internet addicts face their computer the whole night that they can no longer function well during the day. According to some experts, denying this person access to the internet may result to extreme anxiety and withdrawal symptoms.
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