Internet Addiction Prevention
By Kimberly S. Young, Psy.D.
Source: Journal Of Employee Assistance - First Quarter 2005
Over the past decade, Internet abuse has become a growing problem in the
home and in the workplace. The ever-increasing availability of computers along with cable,
broadband and DSL connections means that millions of us have rapid access to the every
expanding world wide web. Many of us worry about the Internet habits of our spouses, our
children and our friends. We are not sure how to tell if a loved one has a problem or
maybe even how to control our own addictive tendencies. For all of us, here are the
essential facts about Internet addiction:
Risk factors for abuse
Risk factors such as loneliness, stress, depression, anxiety, and prior
substance abuse may trigger an addiction to the Internet. Individuals facing critical
issues such as a recent divorce, the death of a loved one or problems at home, may turn
to the Internet as an escape. Some people become overly involved In online relationships
to avoid dealing with the loneliness and social Isolation of their lives.
Feelings of excitement, euphoria, and exhilaration may accompany online
behavior, which in turn reinforces compulsivity. Because of the mental pleasure people
receive from their online activity, their Involvement becomes increasingly Intense.
7 Warning signs of addiction
1. Staying online longer than intended.
2. Feeling preoccupied with online use, often to the point of daydreaming
and anticipating the next online session.
3. Inability to control online use
4. Feeling restless, moody, depressed or irritable when attempting to restrict or stop
5. Jeopardizing relationships or career endeavors because of excessive Internet use
6. Lying to family members or friends to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet.
7. Using the Internet as a way of escaping from problems.
Consequences of Internet abuse
Research has documented serious consequences for using the Internet in
an addictive manner- social isolation depression, marital/relationship discord, divorce,
Job loss and even financial debt -resulting from obsessive online gambling, shopping or
Internet addiction prevention
Avoid online applications that are likely to trigger compulsions including:
Participation in sex chat rooms
If the Internet is starting to be a problem for you, keep a time log of
your computer use to improve your personal accountability when online. Take breaks form
your computer use, get up, exercise, meditate, etc. Personal time outs can help disrupt
unhealthy patterns of online use.
This article was adapted (mm internet Addiction Prevention and Education
by Kimberly S. Young, Psy.O., let Quarter 2005, Journal of Employee Assistance.
Below are listed two internet sites that you may find helpful in dealing
with this problem.
- Help With Internet Addiciton
- Sexaholics Anonymous