Internet Addiction

Published: 27th November 2008
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Fighting Internet Addiction

Internet addiction is a very real condition that affects households worldwide. What is it that causes this? What are the symptoms? Many people mistakenly believe it's merely a penchant for checking email or losing track of time while playing a game. Internet addiction is not the same and it's consequences can be far more devastating.

Any addiction becomes an actual "addiction" when it negatively affects the lives of both the addict and all those around them. Internet addiction has taken so many years to become established due to the disbelief many have over its legitimacy. Most internet addicts do have an ulterior motive for being online so much. It may be a private method for indulging in what is actually a gambling or pornography addiction. Substance abusers may find it easier to purchase their drug of choice through the internet. Many internet addicts, however, aren't classified with any of these more typical vices.

There are individuals who like to use the internet as a method of escape from their daily lives. Some may have complete alter identities through the internet. This form of addiction is completely psychological. The "fix" is pretending to be someone else.

The greatest tragedy to it all is that those around the addicted individual are the real victims. They watch their loved ones morph into someone else. They see the mood swings and make excuses to others. They must not only endure the emotional "mess" they must clean up after their loved one.

It's fairly easy to spot internet addiction. The addicted individual withdraws from real people and becomes more focused with individuals they know online. They often make excuses to stay home more, but when they are home, they may seem apprehensive or depressed until they can find a good reason to go online.

They want complete privacy when they are online. If you try to talk to them, you will be ignored. Many will not even stop to talk with people who are visiting. They may exhibit personality qualities much like "Dr. Jekyll / Mr. Hyde." They are horrible to live with offline, but as long as they have that connection, they are relatively normal.

It often requires professional help to break internet addiction. The most important step is to force the individual to see there is a serious problem. This can be skyrocketing bills from gambling or substances. It may be serious problems in the workplace due to inattention or inactivity. It may be issues at school with children. The best time to act is now. Internet addiction is completely curable and there's no reason to endure it any longer.

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