Internet Addiction Disorder: A Serious Concern For Mental Health
Internet Addiction Disorder, the name of the disorder itself explains the main culprit of abnormal or dysfunctioning in the individual, which is internet. There are other mediums of media that a person can be addicted to, like television, radio, newspaper, etc., but in this era, in terms of technological advancement, internet has boomed and is taking a place as a central medium in media. Addiction basically means when an individual becomes dependent on a particular substance and that substance provides them with relief from stress or relaxes them when they worry about something else. An addict may become calm after using that substance and feel contended. Internet is just like a substance for many addicts to feel good. Just answer yourself these questions to understand where you lie on the scale of being an internet addict: Do you feel severe urges to be online on social media platforms (one or more) to not miss anything? Do you spend the majority of the day in playing video games? Do you find that your other aspect of life (like relationships, family, friends, work, etc.) are being distant from you because of your involvement with social media? Answering yes to such question indicates that you are struggling with internet addiction disorder.
Types of Internet Addiction:
There are various reasons for which we go online and surf various sites but there are some dominant and chief reasons to surf on internet when we talk about internet addiction. Those reasons are as follows:
Dating or relationships: People who spend most of their time on internet for maintaining relationships or friendships on the internet, usually are trying to achieve a farfetched goal to make "real connections or relations", without actually spending time with real people around them.
Sexual Activity: Many users of internet, exchange or watch pornography or pornographic images to have a sense of sexual satisfaction in their life through internet. They hold back from actually maintaining an active sexual relationship with their partner or spouse and feel that the virtual or graphic representation of sexual exposure will make them contented. This type of addiction majorly influences the relationship between spouses or partners and spills negativity into their relationship.
Online Gaming: Several internet users feel the necessity to achieve a goal in a game on an online platform or get some points in their games or have a level up in online gaming. They spend most of the time gaming online rather than achieving a goal in gaming outdoor and being physically active.
Seeking Information: There is also a type of internet user that spends hours and hours acquiring information through various online sites and is obsessed and absorbed in doing so.
Compulsive Online Exchange: Many internet users are absorbed in shopping or gambling or trading stocks, etc., to feel that they got something productive in their everyday life. For such users buying something or achieving something through internet means they made a huge difference in their lives and thus are glued to their screens in trying to achieve this sense of accomplishing something.
Signs & Symptoms:
There are various symptoms that can help in knowing about internet addiction, such as: being overly absorbed in thinking about what was done in past online transactions and what can be done in future online transactions; feeling unable to restrain or control yourself from using internet; being online than what was initially intended; when you try to control your internet time, you feel restless, moody and irritated; feeling the need to increase the use of internet every day; the need to use internet arises to avoid or escape from worries or other stressors of life; have deceived or lied to others about the amount of time spent on internet; and being online or using internet has negatively impacted on school, work, and relationships with others.
There are several physical signs of internet addiction, like, as experiencing headaches, experiencing insomnia, experiencing neck and back pains, unhealthy or poor eating habits, facing troubles with vision or eyesight, and experiencing issues with weight. There are several emotional signs of internet addiction as well, like, as feeling guilty, feeling anxious and/or depressed, dishonest, defensive, moody, feeling isolated or lonely, delaying or avoiding work responsibilities, feeling agitated, and feeling euphoric when using internet, losing track of time when online, feeling bored of normal routine, and unable to maintain schedule on time.
There are various treatment procedures that can help in reducing the symptoms and treating internet addiction disorder, like, antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, cognitive behavioral therapy, behavioral therapy, dialectic behavioral therapy, art therapy, individual therapy, group therapy, family therapy, and reality therapy.
Internet addiction disorder is a disorder that requires more individual efforts to reduce the signs and symptoms and come out of its dependence. This disorder is more about the awareness and acknowledgment of the own actions of a human being. When the individual takes their actions into consideration the treatment of internet addiction disorder can be resolved with persistent efforts.