Health Magazine

Do You Have an Internet Addiction?

By Tomretterbush @thomretterbush

Do You have an Internet Addiction?Do you find yourslef longing to login to the Internet?
Do you have a hard time pulling yourself away from Facebook? Do you feel a need to check your email? Do you find yourself playing games with anyone who will play with you? 
You could be exhibiting signs of addictive behavior.
According to a new study from Yale University, one in every 25 teens reported an "irresistible urge" to be online, tension when they weren't online or said they had tried to quit or reduce the time they spent surfing the Web, Reuters reports.
The study of more than 3,500 high school students in Connecticut found that those with "problematic Internet use" were more likely to be depressed and aggressive, and to use drugs.
"Problematic Internet use may be present in about 4 percent of high school students in the United States," researchers wrote in The Journal of Clinical Psychology.
"It may be associated with depression, substance use, and aggressive behaviors. High school boys, though, may have heavier Internet use and may be less self-aware of the related problems."
Asian and Hispanic students were more likely to have problematic Internet use, although most students in the study were white, according to Reuters.
About 17 percent of boys said they spent more than 20 hours a week online, compared to 13 percent of girls.
It seems harmless compared to alcohol, smoking and drugs, but do you ever wonder if you might have a "problem" with the Internet?
1. Do you feel preoccupied with the Internet (think about previous online activity or anticipate next online session)? 2. Do you feel the need to use the Internet with increasing amounts of time in order to achieve satisfaction?3. Have you repeatedly made unsuccessful efforts to control, cut back, or stop Internet use?4. Do you feel restless, moody, depressed, or irritable when attempting to cut down or stop Internet use? 5. Do you stay online longer than originally intended?6. Have you jeopardized or risked the loss of significant relationship, job, educational or career opportunity because of the Internet?7. Have you avoided friends and family because you do not associate on the Internet with them?8. Have you lied to family members, therapist, or others to conceal the extent of involvement with the Internet?9. Do you use the Internet as a way of escaping from problems or of relieving a dysphoric mood (e.g., feelings of helplessness, guilt, anxiety, depression)?10. Do you find yourself feeling guilty, ashamed, anxious, or depressed as a result of online behavior? 
Recognize any core problems that may be causing your Internet addiction.
If you are struggling with depression, stress, anger or anxiety, for example, Internet addiction might be a way to self-medicate your bad moods. Have you had problems with alcohol or drugs in the past? Does anything about your Internet use remind you of how you used to drink or use drugs to numb out? Recognize if you need to address treatment in these areas, such as therapy, or returning to group support meetings.
Build your coping skills.
Perhaps blowing off steam on the Internet is your way of coping with stress, sadness or anger. Or maybe you are excessively shy and are having trouble relating to others in real life. Building skills in these areas will help you with the stress and strain of daily life without resorting to prolonged Internet use.
Get a support network 
The more relationships you have in your real life, the less you will need the Internet for social interaction. Set aside dedicated time each day for friends and family. If you're shy, or have trouble with your self-esteem, you might try finding common interest groups such as a sports team, education class, or book reading club. This will allow you to interact with other people and let relationships develop naturally.
I strongly recommend you read my article, 10 Essential Steps to Permanent Addiction Recovery, here on the Addicts Not Anonymous blog. Between what you've learned from these two article you should be able to kick the Internet addiction without outside help. If you find you're still having a hard time, you may want to seek further assistance. 
Fortunately, there are several other really good online resources for those with possible Internet addiction. The most popular are netaddiction.com, helpguide.org, teenzeen.org and virtual-addiction.com to name a few.
Written By: Tom Retterbush
Source How many teens have "Internet addiction?" (reuters.com)


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COMMENTS ( 1 )

By Sheryl Sitman
posted on 12 July at 12:06
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There is a lot of hype in the media about Internet addiction and it really needs to be put into perspective. The internet itself is not a drug that is in itself evil The Internet is just a medium - like film, newspaper, etc. But circumstances, accessibility content, the interactive nature, etc. have turned the internet experience into something that is potentially addictive if not taken in moderation. Furthermore, there is a need for accountability -- just because it is possible, should not mean anyone can use it for anything. Here is a simple test to determine if someone may need help for an Internet Addiction: http://www.internet-addiction-guide.com/internet-addiction/the-internet-addiction-test-iat/