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Monday, April 9, 2007

Internet or Computer Addiction -- Break Addiction

How can you break addiction to the Internet?

The first step is recognizing that there is a problem. Overcoming denial should be followed by other treatment steps, including:

  • Identifying specific problem areas
  • Generating a behavior modification plan, such as setting a timer for usage, planning a daily schedule, keeping a log of moods when going online, matching time spent online with time spent socializing face-to-face and taking part in non-computer related activities
  • Focusing on other areas for needed skill enhancement, such as problem solving, assertiveness, social skills, overcoming shyness, anger control
  • Assessing for other disorders like depression or anxiety that may need medical treatment.
  • Assistance in locating or forming a support group for other people who are trying to regain control over their computer use.

If you suspect you are addicted to the Web, consult a therapist in your area, preferably one who specializes in addiction. In addition, you might join a support group. One online group can be found at the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery.

Dr. David Greenfield offers suggestions to help manage Internet use before it becomes a problem:

  • Consider taking a technology holiday
  • Find other interests
  • Exercise
  • Watch less television
  • Talk to your friends and family about what is happening in your life
  • Try counseling or psychotherapy to assist you in dealing with the addictive behavior
  • Consider a support group
  • Develop new relationships and friendships
  • Talk to others about your overuse of the Internet
  • Shorten your Internet sessions

How can I help computer-obsessed friends?

  • Be a good role model. Manage the computer use in your own life well
  • Introduce them to some other people who are fun, interesting, and who handle their computer use sensibly.
  • Get them involved in some non-computer related fun.
  • Support their desire for change if they think they have a problem.
  • Encourage them to seek professional counseling.


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