Internet & Computer Games

Internet addiction is one of the fastest growing addictions. A vast number of people now use the internet in one form or another so it is very easy for the internet addict to remain unnoticed. In today’s world most children are using the internet from the age of 7 or earlier and start to live and depend on this world.

Non addicted people will use the internet as and when needed and as an essential form of both personal and business communication. The internet addict however lives by and for the internet. The internet becomes their existence; they will stop social interaction on a one to one basis. You may see an internet addict use their mobile device whilst eating at the family table, or whilst having dinner with friends. They are on the internet day and night – even sending messages or browsing websites whilst in bed.

The internet can become a replacement for relationships. There are now opportunities to be part of a virtual world and assume a persona and use it to act out in many different ways. This can replace self-esteem and self-worth issues. It can even replace the relationship with their partner and or families.

The internet addict has many ways of acting out; internet videos, social networking, blogging, tweeting, e mail, auction and shopping sites, gambling sites, pornography sites, games and virtual sites – to name but a few.

As with all addictions the internet addict confuses the intensity of acting out within their addiction for the intimacy that they crave. The addiction is blocking them from facing life on life’s terms and owning their emotions and feelings.

Treatment begins with the client looking at the reality of their situation. Living in a virtual fantasy world means that real life, even relationships, will be a disappointment. Abstinence means taking part in reality. Creating a plan of reasonable internet use is essential in this age of technology but it must be balanced with other interests and activities.