Addicted to You

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I feel irritable or depressed when I try to reduce the amount of time that I am on the Internet or when I can't get online. The way I use the Internet has threatened a relationship with someone I care about, my job, or my school work. I lose track of time when I'm online.

I sometimes lie to important people in my life about the amount of time I spend, or the types of activities I participate in on the Internet. Being online helps me to forget about my problems or improve my mood when I'm feeling sad, anxious, or lonely. How is Internet addiction treated? Some professionals classify Internet addiction as an obsessive compulsive disorder, while others liken it to an impulse control disorder.

Therefore, there is no one specific treatment for Internet addiction.

Addicted to You

However, if there is a certain app, game, or site that seems to be the focus of the addiction, stopping its use may be part of treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy CBT and group therapy are common. Medication may be used to manage symptoms of underlying mental illness and control intrusive thoughts about going online.

Exercise may be incorporated into Internet addiction treatment to ease the effects of reduced dopamine in the brain resulting from restricted Internet use.

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For example, try to take a 15 minute break for every 45 minutes of Internet use. Fill your free time activities that are physically intense or require a lot of concentration to distract you from thinking about going online. Do you go online when you are bored? Are you going online to relieve feelings of loneliness or depression? If you feel tempted to go online, choose an activity from your list instead.

I'm Addicted to You.

Use the results to start a conversation with your health care provider. Seek specialized treatment. Cyber-relationships: Social media, online dating, and other virtual communication. There is debate about which comes first for people, Internet addiction or the co-occuring mental health problem. Internet addiction treatment aims to create boundaries and balance around Internet use rather than eliminating it entirely.

He describes a study by B. Skinner in the s that demonstrated the theory of the variable schedule of rewards. Skinner observed that lab mice responded most voraciously to random rewards. When mice pressed a lever, they sometimes got a small treat, other times a large treat, and other times nothing at all. Unlike other mice that received the same treat every time they pressed the lever, the mice that received variable rewards pressed the lever more often and compulsively. Similar to how mice behave when expecting to receive treats, we eagerly check our phones at the slightest ring or buzz, because the dopamine trigger in our brains compels us to answer.

The big treats are the messages that give us pleasure — a message from a friend, a phone call from a loved one, or that funny video we must see. We are compelled to look at the screen and answer, regardless of where we are and who we are with. Of course this mobile device addiction goes further. There is a clear human need for self-expression — and especially self-expression that prompts feedback from others Signs of Facebook Addiction.

Our need to immediately share sometimes causes us to forget to enjoy and embrace the moment. As social animals, we need human contact for emotional and psychological health. Our mobile devices have enhanced our ability to have that contact. They have become a tool important for social interaction.

Addicted to You (Addicted, #1) by Krista Ritchie

It is not only the wasted time that results when we allow ourselves to be interrupted, when staring at the screen, when replying to emails or answering the phone. We also lose valuable time recovering from these interruptions after our attention has been diverted.

For example, a Loughborough University study recommends a set of guidelines for email usage that will increase employee workplace efficiency by reducing interruptions, restricting the use of email-to-all messages and reply-to-all responses, setting the email application to display just the first three lines, and checking for email less frequently.

He makes the point that sometimes we must take serious action to resolve our addictions. But it has always been true that the first step in overcoming any addiction is to admit that it exists.

Psychological Effects

Note: This guest essay was written by Avi Itzkovitch. Photo Credit: Ron Bennetts. I build, study, and write about products and ideas that move people. More about me here.

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