Internet addiction can cover a wide variety of problems, from compulsions to use social network sites through to shopping, gambling and pornography. In the UK the most frequent categories of internet overuse, based on those who seek help, are pornography and multiplayer role-play games.
Support when you need it most-
Internet addiction treatment can help resolve these issues through counselling and abstinence. Online addiction has been brought sharply into public awareness due to the headline making case of parents who let their toddler die of malnutrition whilst they spent time gaming on the internet, and a recent study of over 1,300 young adults in Leeds suggested that just over 1% met criteria for Internet addiction.
Free initial addiction assessment-
We understand embarking upon recovery can be an emotionally turbulent time for you. With this in mind, the Priory offers a free initial assessment with an experienced therapist at all of our addiction treatment hospitals and clinics to help you discuss your addiction in confidence.
What are the symptoms of online addiction-
The most obvious symptom is spending a long time in front of a computer for reasons that are not work-related. Generally there is irritability or a bad mood if access to the internet is blocked or has to be abbreviated. Pleasurable anticipation of internet use is common, although many internet addicts see their internet overuse as a form of stress management. Multiplayer role-play gamers may also see their usage as a form of social contact. As the addiction becomes more severe, internet usage becomes more important than most other activities and major social problems are likely to follow.
Consequences of internet addiction-
- Related anxiety and low mood
- Social withdrawal and isolation
- Marital and sexual problems
- Employment or coursework / education issues
Care and management for individuals affected by internet addiction-
Once internet overuse reaches the point where it causes major problems, abstinence is the only solution. There are fellowships similar to Alcoholics Anonymous for those whose internet compulsion takes the form of gambling or pornography, which include Gamblers Anonymous and Sex Addicts Anonymous. There are also self-help groups that deal with the more notoriously addictive role-play games, but no groups presently exist for internet addiction help.
Treatment for internet addiction at the Priory Hospitals and Clinics-
The Priory runs one to one counselling based on the principles of abstinence which can be useful. For individuals who are unable to progress with either self-help or one to one, there are 12 step rehabilitation programmes run by the Priory.