It is very difficult to live a life now without using the Internet, but for some the amount of time they spend on the Internet is causing problems in their home, work and relationships. Internet addiction is also known as online addiction, computer addiction and is generally considered to be a compulsive impulse disorder. It can consist of cybersex, online gambling, social media, online gaming or compulsive web surfing.
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Generally speaking if you are finding that your work or home life is suffering because you can’t stop yourself from going on the net, even if it is having a negative impact on your life and relationships, then you may be starting to get addicted.
Internet addiction is self-medicating against difficult and negative emotions, particularly stress, depression, anxiety and loneliness, as well as boredom. As with any addiction you may feel better for a while but then the negative feelings you are trying to suppress begin to surface. This could lead to a dependency on cyberspace to provide temporary pleasure rather than a meaningful real life relationship.
It may mean over time that you spend more and more time in the virtual world and not in the real world.Not much is known about the causes of Internet addiction, but it is thought to stem from childhood. Particularly where there were poor relationship attachments, or through exposure to prolonged stress, neglect or because of a traumatic incident.
This means that when seeking treatment it is not just about working with the addiction but also about addressing what is causing it and finding alternative ways of coping and managing.