There has been a lot of debate surrounding the overuse and overexposure to the internet, particularly in the U.S. With the emergence of many new technologies, we can be connected 24 hours a day on multiple devices no matter where we are. The internet is everywhere in our lives, and surfing the net for hours at a time has become the norm. Whether it is social media, Googling, or online shopping, the internet has become an integral part of our lives. It should come as no surprise that with this rise, some have gone overboard to the point of necessitating internet addiction treatment at our Lake Worth drug rehab.
What Is Internet Addiction?
Internet addiction is defined as an excessive and compulsive dependency on the internet, which has a negative impact on a person’s everyday life and well-being. When a person feels more comfortable interacting with their online friends than they do with their friends in the real world, they cannot stop online gaming, or they struggle not to check their social media fifty times a day, then they may have a serious problem. Studies have shown that as many as 1.5 to 8.2% of Americans have exhibited signs of internet addiction.1
Some people find no value in their own lives and seek solace by spending unhealthy amounts of time online. Because of this trend, internet addiction can come with a whole slew of problems, including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. What may seem like a harmless habit can quickly develop into a downward spiral of more concerning issues. Without proper behavioral health help, many people will continue to walk down this dark path.
In order to get your loved one help, it is important to recognize when there is a problem. Signs of internet addiction include:
- Obsession with continued internet use
- Deception about how much time was spent online
- Feelings of high anxiety, irritability, depression, and other withdrawal symptoms when internet time is restricted
- Lack of control or knowledge of time spent on the internet
- Increased time online with each session
- In jeopardy of losing career, relationship, or family due to usage
- Use of the internet as an escape
- Poor mental health overall
- Substance abuse problems that require a drug or alcohol detox to get better
Why Can the Internet Be Addictive?
A person can develop an addiction to the Internet for a number of reasons. First off, there are a ton of entertaining and absorbing activities available on the internet that can easily hold people’s attention for a long time. Instant gratification and a steady stream of stimuli from online games, social media platforms, streaming services, and other infinite sources of entertainment activate the brain’s reward system. A loop of pleasure-seeking behavior may result from this repetitive reward, reinforcing the addictive patterns.
Second, the internet offers a venue for social connection and engagement that can be especially alluring to people looking for approval, acceptance, or a sense of belonging. Online communities, social media platforms, and virtual interactions provide a sense of community and a way to escape difficulties in real life. Because of the temptation of social interaction, some people may indulge in excessive internet use because they are continuously looking for online friends, frequently at the expense of their real-life obligations and relationships.
The ease of access and convenience of the internet also contributes to its addictive qualities. People may access the online world whenever and wherever they choose because of the widespread use of smartphones, tablets, and other gadgets with internet connection. It can be challenging for people to detach from the internet and create healthy limits because of its constant accessibility and rapid satisfaction. The need to stay online and connect with digital content continuously may be fueled by the constant stimulation and the fear of missing out (FOMO).
Treatment for Internet Addiction
At Behavioral Health of the Palm Beaches, we know that you cannot unplug an internet addiction just like that. What you need is a comprehensive approach to treatment that will focus on not only the internet addiction itself but also the problems that come along with it, such as poor mental health and an addiction to drugs or alcohol. As part of our mental health and addiction treatment in Lake Worth, our program is designed to give patients confidence and educate them on healthier and more productive ways to spend their time. We work with patients to keep them from turning to the internet for affirmation and to recognize the impact that their internet use has on their mental health and, consequently, also their drug and alcohol use.
We understand that completely cutting off internet use is not only impossible, but also it’s not advisable. A large percentage of occupations require frequent internet use, so telling our patients to avoid the internet entirely might threaten their careers. Our internet addiction treatment involves educating patients in understanding and establishing the line between healthy internet use and destructive use. By removing them from their everyday worlds, patients gain a different perspective and are better able to identify how their addictive internet use negatively impacts their lives and the people they love.
Find Hope in Internet Addiction Rehab
Obsessive and addictive internet use can be destructive in a person’s life. If you feel unable to control your urges to surf the web or you have to watch your loved one unable to peel himself or herself away from the computer screen, it could be a sign that there is a serious problem. Our residential rehab program in South Florida provides a comprehensive approach to internet addiction therapy to help patients create happier and brighter futures.
To learn more about our treatment programs and how they can help you or a loved one achieve recovery, contact our Banyan Lake Worth rehab today.