Internet addiction disorder is real. This impulse control disorder doesn’t just affect you or the young person you love. Millions of people also suffer from an emotional attachment to online browsing and activities, to the point other areas of life suffer. Similar to gambling addiction, Internet addiction disorder replaces normal daily activities and isolates teens from social interaction.
What Is Internet Addiction Disorder?
Internet addiction disorder eats away at everyday life by substituting a virtual world for your teen or young adult’s real world. They develop emotional connections with others through social media, chat rooms, dating applications, virtual communities, and gaming sites. They also over-engage in online search, blogging, web design, or other web-based activities.
People who suffer Internet addiction disorder stop connecting with people in their real lives. Whether their social problems came first or the Internet influenced their problems with socialization, many find themselves unable to form normal human connections.
As a result, Internet addiction eats away at normal activities. Your young person stops eating well, performing well at school, and enjoying favorite hobbies or activities beyond the Internet. Relationships also suffer, and they find themselves more disconnected and isolated as time progresses.
Effects of Internet Addiction Disorder
Internet addiction looks like other addictions. Your loved one even suffers the same effects as people addicted to drugs or alcohol. The addiction is similar, with only the substance being different. Some effects of Internet addiction disorder include:
- Constant preoccupation with being on the Internet
- Using the Internet more and more over time for the “fix”
- Inability to control or cut back on Internet use
- Negative feelings or moodiness when trying to curb the use of the Internet
- Staying online longer than intended
- Damaged relationships because of web use
- Lying to use the Internet more
Additionally, Internet addiction can cause personal, financial, work, school or family problems. That’s because your loved one stops forming real relationships or finds himself or herself with no real connections because of online activity. They spend most of their time alone and appear awkward in social situations.
At home or among family, your young adult experiences arguments about online use. This makes them start lying about being on the Internet. As a result, their relationships suffer from distrust and anger where they once enjoyed happiness and stability.
Another type of Internet addiction relates to the creation of false identities or personas online. They use others’ photos or pretend to be someone else. These activities reflect low self-esteem, fear, and feelings of inadequacy. Such feelings lead to depression and anxiety, mental illnesses feeding the addiction and growing from the online use.
Upon trying to quit Internet use, your young person suffers withdrawal much like people addicted to other substances. They experience depression, mood swings, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, and irritability upon quitting. They also feel extremely bored, disconnected, and restless. At the same time, they do gain some relief from quitting.
Being addicted to the Internet even causes physical problems. Some of these include carpal tunnel syndrome, dry eyes, severe headaches, and backaches. They also suffer poor personal hygiene or decline in physical appearance. They may also fail to eat properly and or get adequate sleep.
Getting Help for Internet Addiction Disorder
Getting help for electronic addiction means entering a treatment program. Such help is available from young adult and troubled teen programs. Your young person’s program begins with a client assessment to determine their type and level of addiction. This also helps them know which type of program best suits their needs.
An assessment for Internet addiction comes from a certified addictions counselor. Counselors at Venture Academy in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario help you understand your young person’s addiction and what they need for in order to recover.
Programs of Venture Academy include:
- Individual counselling
- Group therapy
- 30-day assessment and intervention
- Individualized treatment planning
For the help your teen or young adult needs in B.C., Alberta or Ontario, call Venture Academy at 866.762.2211. You can get your happier, healthier and engaged young person back. You just need help from Venture Academy.