It is not uncommon today to hear someone say that they have an addiction to the internet. Although you may not know this, there is a way to get help for this. It is “Internet Addiction Disorder”. This disorder can have serious negative effects on your life and those around you. In this article, we will talk about the dangers and warning signs of Internet addiction. So you can stop it before it gets out of hand.
- 1 What is Internet Addiction?
- 2 Conclusion
- 3 A Word From Mantra Care
What is Internet Addiction?
Internet addiction is a mental disorder that describes the compulsive use of the internet, particularly social media. This compulsion can be so strong that it interferes with daily life and activities such as work or school. Experts are warning of a mental health crisis. People are becoming addicted to the internet. They are wasting their time with gambling and video games instead of reading books or talking to friends.
Types Of Internet Addiction Disorders
There are two subtypes of internet addiction disorder. These include:
- Cybersex Addiction: A cybersex addiction is when you have an addiction to online pornography, adult websites, or sexual fantasy. If you spend too much time on these things and they stop you from forming real-world relationships, then that is a problem. There are some treatments for cybersex addictions. They may be in the form of an intervention, and afterward, there is inpatient and outpatient therapy.
- Net Compulsions: This is when you get addicted to the internet or social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Spending time on these things might make it hard for you to do other things.
- Cyber (Online) Relationship Addiction: This is when you are addicted to the internet and your relationships are mainly with others online. You might have a problem if spending time on social media stops you from being able to form real-world relationships.
- Computer Or Gaming Addiction: This is when you are addicted to the internet and playing video games or using a computer. You might have a problem if these things take up too much of your time.
- Compulsive Information Seeking: This is when you have an addiction to the internet and get constant updates with information. You might have a problem if spending time on this stops you from being able to form real-world relationships.
Symptoms of Internet Addiction Disorder
Just like any other mental disorder, there are signs that someone may be dealing with internet addiction. These include:
- Spending an excessive amount of time online (reported as at least five hours a day)
- Failing to control the urge to spend more time on the computer
- Experiencing negative consequences due to the amount of time spent online
- Feeling withdrawal symptoms when trying to stop using the internet
- Lying about how much time you spend on the computer or other devices for accessing it.
Causes of Internet Addiction Disorder
There is no one cause for Internet addiction. However, there are several different factors that can make it more likely to occur:
- Genetics: Some people may be born with a predisposition towards developing an addictive personality
- Stressful life events or environment: Stress caused by the loss of a loved one, bullying at school, or other experiences may lead to an increased desire for escapism and the internet can provide that
- Personality: Someone who is predisposed towards addictive behaviors or enjoys risk-taking activities such as gambling will be more likely to develop Internet addiction. People who have low self-esteem and people who suffer from a social anxiety disorder. These disorders may include depression, or bipolar disorder can also be victims of cyberbullying.
Dangers of Internet Addiction
Internet addiction can have serious negative effects on your life and those around you. Many people can get addicted to things. Like when they gamble or drink too much alcohol, people will find their lives consumed by the internet. They won’t care about work or family or friends. As an addict spends more time online, he or she may:
- Forget important deadlines at school or work
- Miss out on quality time spent with loved ones
- Lose interest in hobbies that were once enjoyed
- Neglect responsibilities
- Perform poorly at job/school due to lack of attendance
- Experience relationship problems with romantic partners and family
- Face health problems like weak eyesight and back problems.
- Neglect their personal health in the long run
Negative Impacts Of Internet Addiction
- Loss of productivity: Those who have an addiction to the internet spend a lot more time online than they should. Missing deadlines, not completing school work on time, and neglecting responsibilities at home or work can be bad.
- Relationship problems: Spending too much time with your friends virtually instead of meeting them face-to-face can lead to relationship problems. This is often seen with married couples where one or both partners are spending more time online than together
- Financial issues: Many addicts spend money they don’t have on items related to the internet, such as games and subscriptions. Others will pay less attention to their budgets leading them into debt
- Legal trouble: Some people who struggle with Internet addiction find themselves in legal trouble after doing things like downloading illegal music or movies onto their devices without paying for it first. This may also happen because you are not paying attention to what’s happening while driving. You could get into a dangerous situation.
Computer And Video Game Addiction Test (CAGIT)
Is it hard to stop playing the game or using the computer? Do you play games or use the computer even when you know you should not? If so, then maybe your addiction is bad.
- I sometimes watch my favorite TV programs on my computer.
- Sometimes people decide to play games for 30 minutes. Then they end up playing for three hours without realizing how much time has gone by.
- Do you like to do your homework using the internet because it is fun?
- During holidays and family get-togethers, do you spend time at home alone? It can be hard to not feel lonely when everyone else is celebrating.
- Has anyone ever said anything about how much time you spend online?
- Do you spend most of your time sitting at the computer even though it is bad for your body? It could lead to serious health problems if done for a long time.
- Do you play video games for a lot of hours every week or only a little? People might get an astonishment at the number of hours you say.
- Do you want to stay home alone so you can play games without having any trouble because of your friends?
If these questions made you think about times when being on the internet has made you feel bad, then you might be addicted.
The evidence is clear. Internet addiction can lead to many bad things. These are social, emotional, and physical. The studies show us that we need to know our kids’ internet usage. If they have a problem, we can find out before it gets worse. Here are some signs your child might need help with their internet use below:
- Increased isolation from family members
- Excessive time spent online at the expense of other activities including school work
- Ongoing arguments about screen time with others who care for them (parents, teachers)
- Reduced participation in offline hobbies such as reading or sports
The evidence is clear. Internet addiction can lead to many detrimental effects on an individual’s social, emotional, and physical well-being. As a result of the data collected by these studies, it becomes increasingly important for us as parents or caregivers to be aware of our children’s internet usage habits in order to identify problematic behaviors early on so that appropriate interventions may be made before more serious consequences ensue.
A Word From Mantra Care
Your mental health — your psychological, emotional, and social well-being — has an impact on every aspect of your life. Positive mental health essentially allows you to effectively deal with life’s everyday challenges.
At Mantra Care, we have a team of therapists who provide affordable online therapy to assist you with issues such as depression, anxiety, stress, relationship, OCD, LGBTQ, and PTSD. You can take our mental health test. You can also book a free therapy or download our free Android or iOS app.