All About Internet Addiction and How to Overcome it with Psychological Therapy & Counselling
What is an Internet Addiction?
An internet addiction is when you dedicate so much time to using the internet that it gets in the way of normal day-to-day functioning.
Whilst the time spend on-line can be very productive, over-using the Internet can also interfere with your daily life, work, and your social relationships.
Despite what is reported in the popular press, Internet addiction is not just confined to young people.
We have seen a large number of adult clients with this problem and this has often been related to internet porn use (see porn addiction).
If you feel more comfortable with your on-line friends than your real ones, or you can’t stop yourself from playing games, gambling, or compulsively checking your social media, then you may be using the Internet too much.
Signs and Symptoms of Internet Addiction
The signs and symptoms of Internet addiction vary from person to person, but may include any, or all of the following:
Losing track of time on-line.
- Do you frequently find yourself on the Internet longer than you intended?
- Does a few minutes turn in to a few hours before you notice?
- Do you get irritated or annoyed if your on-line time is interrupted?
Having trouble completing tasks at work or home.
- Do you find your dirty laundry piling up or hardly any food in the house for dinner because you’ve been busy on-line?
- Perhaps you find yourself working late more often because you can’t complete your work on time and then staying even longer when everyone else has gone home so you can use the Internet more freely.
Isolation from family and friends.
- Is your social life suffering because of all the time you spend on-line?
- Are you neglecting your family and friends?
- Do you feel like no one in your “real” life understands you like your on-line friends do?
Feeling guilty or defensive about your Internet use.
- Are you sick of your partner nagging you to get off the computer and spend more time together?
- Do you hide your Internet use or lie to your boss and family about the amount of time you spend on the internet and what you do while you’re on-line?
Feeling a sense of euphoria while involved in Internet activities.
- Do you use the Internet as an outlet for stress or for sexual gratification or other forms of excitement?
- Have you tried to limit your Internet time but failed?
If you recognise any of these behavioural patterns then you might be developing an Internet Addiction and you need to act.
How Much is Too Much?
The Web provides a constantly evolving source of information (including mis-information!) and entertainment and can be accessed from most smartphones as well as tablets, laptops, and desktop computers.
These devices are so widely available now that most 10 year olds you know will own at least one of them!
But how much internet use is too much?
Obviously every person’s internet use will be different.
You may need to use the Internet extensively for your work, for example, or perhaps you might rely on social networking sites to keep in touch with friends and family, particularly those who live long distances away.
Spending a lot of time on-line only really becomes a problem, as is the case with all addictive activities, when it absorbs so much time that you end up neglecting your relationships, your work, your school time, or other important things in your life.
What causes Internet Addiction?
If you have a bad day and need to escape from your problems then the Internet can be an easily accessible outlet.
Losing yourself on-line can temporarily make feelings such as loneliness or boredom disappear very quickly.
Although the internet can provide a sense of comfort, it’s important to remember that there are healthier (and more effective) ways to deal with your difficult feelings.
These may include exercising more or learning to relax.
For many people, an important aspect of overcoming Internet and computer addiction is to find alternate ways to handle these difficult feelings.
So, it’s worth spending some time thinking about the different ways you intend to deal with stressful situations and the daily irritations that would normally have you logging on.
Therapy & Counselling for Internet Addiction
We offer a number of different types of therapy and counselling for internet addictions and related problems.
Choosing the most suitable therapy depends on a number of different considerations including factors such as:
- How long you have had the problem.
- Your personal preferences.
- How your problem is affecting you today.
You can read more about the different types of therapy for internet addiction problems on the following links:
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Internet Addiction
- Counselling for Internet Addiction
- Pluralistic Therapy for Internet Addiction
Although all therapies use slightly different approaches, the one thing they all have in common is the relationship that is formed between the client and therapist.
Research suggests that this therapy relationship may be the most important factor in achieving a good therapy outcome.
The Behaviour Change Framework
All of our counselling sessions and programmes for internet addiction use the Behaviour Change Framework (BCF).
This scientifically proven protocol defines the stages of behaviour change that you need to go through in order to achieve long lasting and sustainable change.
The framework provides a roadmap that indicates if more change is required before entering the next phase of mental health therapy.
In this way, we are able to ensure that you get the best possible level of support in overcoming your mental health problems as well preventing early termination of therapy.
You can read more about the Science of Change here.
Arrange your FREE initial consultation here.
During this consultation we will discuss your particular issues and the different types of mental health counselling we offer without you having to commit to any counselling going forward.
The consultation lasts around 50 minutes and is a great opportunity to meet with either Paul or Joan and decide if you would like to proceed with any support.
Links to More Information
These links take you to other resources on the web.
Applied Psychology Solutions
If you’d like to learn how to overcome your Internet Addiction problems but dislike the idea of having “therapy”, then why not learn how to change the way you make sense of your experiences with the CORE Programme.
If you believe that your problems are the result of what has happened to you and not because there is something wrong with you, then this is the solution you’ve been looking for.
Not Ready to Commit to Therapy Quite Yet?
Then why not see if you can solve your own problems using our comprehensive, Online Self-Help CBT course.
Written especially for people who prefer not to engage with a therapist before doing everything they can to overcome their problems.
Mirroring our in-house course of CBT, it contains everything that you need to know to tackle mental health challenges for only £149.
How About Hypnotherapy?
There are numerous ways to overcome and cope with mental health problems and Hypnotherapy is an increasingly popular approach.
If you’d like to find out more about Hypnotherapy for Internet Addiction then click here to visit our sister website Wolverhampton Hypnotherapy.
We offer counselling for internet addiction problems for people living in:
- West Midlands
- South Staffordshire
You can also access our services around the World using online therapy with Paul.