About 6 percent of the world’s population are addicted to the Internet. That percent equals about 420 million people.
The theory that a person can be addicted to the Internet may have previously been looked at as “not real” is now proving to be a serious epidemic.
Whether you think you might be one of the 420 million people who suffers from this addiction, or if you know someone who is, this article is for you. We’ll cover everything you need to know to get a jumpstart on getting through this obstacle.
Let’s talk more about Internet addiction, and how one can begin the healing process to overcome it.
Addiction is addiction is addiction
Just because addiction to the Internet isn’t something that’s as widely talked about as alcoholism or drug abuse, doesn’t make it any less serious.
The psychological effects and overall health risks of addiction transcend whatever the drug may be. It doesn’t matter if it’s prescription pills, whiskey, or pornography, addiction is addiction.
Find a silver lining in the fact that just like for any other form of addiction, there are resources to help in the recovery process. For help with pornography addiction, check out the Internet Pornography Treatment Center for Men.
Symptoms of Internet addiction
Symptoms of addiction will vary from person to person, but some of the hallmark signs are:
- Abnormal irritability
- High anxiety
- Poor judgment
- Inability to focus
- Euphoria during Internet experiences
- Losing track of time
- Falling behind at work
- Increase in defensiveness
How addiction operates
People often discuss how or why addiction is possible. To think that addiction comes from some sort of poor moral compass is simply wrong. Addiction is an illness, and to get through it, it must be treated that way.
When a person is addicted to a substance (yes, even the Internet), they kind of forfeit their own free will. The underlying psychological effects of the addiction itself take the driver’s seat, deciding what will happen next.
Whenever someone uses their drug of choice, their brain is stimulated with mass pleasure from a major amount of dopamine being released. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain that makes the human body feel ridiculously good.
drug of choice > feel ridiculously good > feel normal > the desire to feel ridiculously good amplifies
The longer a person is addicted, the less clarity they’ll have in their decision-making skills. The brain’s need for an overload of dopamine is what drives the decision to keep using.
Help is always available
Like any other form of mental illness, there are resources available to those who suffer from Internet addiction.
For one, the Crisis Text Line is always open. You can text, anonymously, and receive help via text messaging.
There is also a group therapy option that you can take advantage of. Similar to AA or NA, the ITAA (Internet & Tech Addiction Anonymous) offer tech only options or face to face meet ups.
In addition to these forms of care, there are also specialists who can help in digital detoxing and overall disconnection from the Internet.