Are you addicted to the Internet and want to break free?

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Friday, January 12, 2018
are you addicted to the internet and want to break free?
Image for representation purpose only

Can any behaviour turn into an addiction? There is scientific evidence to prove that behaviours such as gambling, buying sex, even skin tanning, can take an addictive form with characteristics very similar to addiction to drugs.

The use of Internet, computers or smartphones is fast becoming an addiction among the young. In fact, terms like ‘Problematic Internet Use (PIU) is a part of medical literature now.
 
The signs and symptoms

On the Internet, people generally indulge in gaming, shopping, window shopping, chatting with known and unknown friends, romantic talks. Slowly, it becomes more important than any real life activity.

It has been seen that these people start neglecting their work and relationships. There are cases where the addiction to internet had become a cause for domestic violence and even divorce.

Internet addicts, like any other addicts, crave for internet. They even display withdrawal symptoms--both physical and psychological. They may get violent if they don’t get access to Wi- Fi or mobile signals.

Why is Interaction addiction growing fast?

For people suffering from anxiety or depression, the virtual world often becomes a medium of communication as these people have difficulty striking a social communication.

People with autistic traits or with a formal diagnosis of pervasive developmental disorder find internet or social media a safer and relatively less challengeable mode of interaction. Chance of facing confrontation is minimal and they can exit the conversation whenever they want.

How to de-addict?

There is no one medicine which can cure computer or internet addiction. But treating associated depression or anxiety can certainly help the victim.

Besides, a psychotherapist or counsellor can help in such situation. Formal CBT( cognitive and behavioural therapy) sessions along with simple behavioural techniques like keeping a time limit for internet use, breaking or altering the pattern of internet use, maintaining abstinence for a day, using reminder cards for timely exit can be of great help.

Does family/ society has a role?

Using support groups like Alcohol Anonymous(AA) and developing alternative interests  and finding alternative ways to spend leisure time can also be useful.

Meeting people with similar interests and participating in group discussions help. Most importantly, a close-knit family where everyone has adequate time for each other is the best cure.

 

(The writer is a psychiatrist at Christian Medical College, Vellore)
 

Comment

Very true. Very nicely narrated .

Indrani paul    2018/01/12 02:29:11

A very wide spread issue is addressed here with a very clean and crisp writing style. Excellent article.

SM    2018/01/12 02:27:01

A very wide spread issue is addressed here with very clean and crisp writing. Excellent article.

SM    2018/01/12 02:24:18

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