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Internet addiction treatment

The increasing ease and accessibility of browsing the internet means that it is now possible to search for information, access social networking sites, shop and gamble from devices which can fit in your pocket or even on your wrist.

While this can be beneficial when researching information as part of your education, or assisting you with your job role, the increasingly instantaneous nature of the internet means that compulsive use becomes more likely. An internet addiction can be diagnosed if your use of the World Wide Web becomes pathological, in that your internet usage has a detrimental effect on your everyday life, including your relationships and any educational or job commitments.

If you believe that you or someone that you care for may be experiencing an internet addiction which is impacting on various aspects of their day-to-day life, treatment options at Priory include self-help groups and behavioural talking therapies focused on abstinence and understanding more about why you may turn to excessive internet use. Treatment for internet addiction can take place as part of our 28-day Addiction Treatment Programme, with the length and type of treatment that you receive, dependent on your unique condition and the severity of your addiction.

Free addiction assessment at your nearest hospital

A free initial assessment is also offered, which explores the specific problems that you are experiencing with online addiction, after which a bespoke treatment plan can be made.

Internet addiction can cover a wide variety of problems, from compulsions to use social networking sites, through to shopping, gambling and pornography. Online addiction has been brought sharply into public awareness over the last few years due to a number of concerning headlines, including a recent study of over 1,300 young adults in Leeds which suggested that just over 1% met criteria for internet addiction.

Often described as an impulse control disorder, internet addiction is a behavioural addiction which doesn’t involve the use of substances in order to feel desired side effects. If you have an internet addiction, it will feel much like how a compulsive gambler will feel, with the desire to go online taking priority over other aspects of your life.

Treatment for internet addiction

The benefits of an increasingly digital world include connecting with friends and family via text, email and social media at any time of the day, making it easier to plan events and keep more up-to-date on what is happening in each other’s lives without having to physically meet.

While many people are able to detach themselves from this daily use of technology, it can be more difficult for others to switch off and spend quality time with family and friends. If virtual worlds and online friends have become more important than the relationships you have in the ‘real-world’, and you feel anxious without them, then it is a sign that a period of abstinence is required in order to regain control of your life.

Treatment for internet addiction at Priory is delivered via a number a methods including self-help groups, abstinence and counselling. If you are unable to progress with either self-help or one-to-one therapy, there are also 12-Step rehabilitation programmes run by Priory.

This page was reviewed by Stephanie Chick (FDAP) in July 2018, and is scheduled to be reviewed again in July 2020. To view all Priory internet addiction specialists, please click here.

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For details of how Priory can provide you with assistance regarding internet treatment and rehabilitation, please call 0800 144 8969 or click here to book a FREE ADDICTION ASSESSMENT. For professionals looking to make a referral, please click here

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