Internet addiction is a broad term for a wide variety of behavior and drive control problems. The topic of Internet addiction does not arise immediately. This disease develops gradually. First, a person gets acquainted with the Internet, learns its capabilities and finds his own style of behavior on the Internet. This is followed by his estrangement from real life. If initially a person needed the Internet to achieve certain goals in life, then with the manifestation of addiction, they all move to the Internet. The person begins to spend more time there. Instead of expressing himself in real life, he does it on the Internet. Gradually, the problem of addiction becomes more and more obvious and takes on shades of a chronic form.
The World Wide Web has spread its networks widely, into which more and more victims of its insidious temptations fall, while the age of addicts is decreasing every year. “Internet disease” has spread to such an extent that today experts began to identify types of Internet addiction, which have their own signs and consequences for those affected by this strange disease.
Types of addiction
Types of network addiction
The reasons for the manifestation of Internet addiction are varied. To date, researchers have identified five main manifestations of this disorder:
Continuous communication in chats, forums, social networks
This includes people who have interpersonal problems. In the absence of real communication and social skills, communication in the virtual world of the Internet seems to be an easier option. The difference from people who simply use the Internet is that addicts try to make new acquaintances and expand their social circle, and not just keep in touch with already familiar people.
Search for information
Online surfing is the almost continuous search for new information on the Internet. It is often not structured. Even if initially the user visits the site in search of very specific information, after a while he accidentally finds himself on a generally extraneous resource. This happens due to the re-reading of articles, comments, reviews, reviews chaotically, one after another. The result is a decrease in productivity, inability to deeply study the selected topic, brain overload with unnecessary information.
The reasons that prompted people to play online games all day long can be judged for a long time. For some, such an Internet addiction is a rest from overexertion, boredom, filling in the gaps in life, a lack of interesting hobbies. It can also be a chance to increase your self-esteem due to the honorable first place, which is difficult to get in life. Some people even contribute money to improve the characteristics of their playable character. This is internet addiction in its most striking manifestation.
This type of Internet addiction is characterized by almost complete similarity of symptoms with ordinary gambling addiction. The excitement that arises in the game for money is in no way inferior to its analogy in reality. You can even chat with people online! On the internet, a casino with games matches the seductive traditional casino. Only due to greater accessibility, ease of entry into the game, the number of visitors can be much higher.
Moving away from real intimacy
The pursuit of watching adult films can seem like a harmless hobby. In fact, this is a serious internet addiction. When watching such videos replaces real intimacy or becomes the preferred way to satisfy their needs, there is a high risk of the breakdown of the family union through an emotional gap in communication and touching with a partner. After all, it is much easier not to strain with communication and the necessary attention, but simply turn on the desired video.
Internet addiction symptoms
The clinical picture of dependence on the Internet is manifested by the following symptoms:
Feeling of euphoria in the process of being online, if it is impossible to access the Internet, despondency and apathy are observed;
It is impossible to distract the addict from the monitor and motivate him to go out;
The patient does not communicate with the real world, does not visit friends and relatives, that is, gradually begins to lose contact with people;
The addict regularly checks his mail on the network, updates the page on social portals, visits the account of a dating site, etc.;
The patient discusses network topics even with people who are not knowledgeable in this area;
The sense of time is lost. A person does not notice how time flies on the network, he can go to the Internet for just a few minutes on business, and go out after a few hours;
While online, a person forgets about professional activities, household chores, meetings and promises;
Resources on the Internet are visited automatically, and not for a specific purpose;
The user spends money on hobbies on the network, trying to hide it from his family;
At the physiological level, there is pain in the eyes, joints, sleep and nutrition disorders;
At the psychological level, aggression, anxiety, despondency caused by negative news are manifested;
Close people complain about the addict’s irresponsibility and detachment from reality. The patient himself is not able to notice his enthusiasm.
Signs of addiction
Loss of sense of time.
Euphoria before each plunge into the Internet and negative emotions due to the inability to dive into the net.
Mechanical Internet visit.
Physiological consequences of Internet addiction, expressed in various diseases.
Problems with the immediate environment.
Decreased intellectual ability.
Difficulties on the professional front – the previous point and the dedication of time to the online space affects instead of focusing on deepening in a profession or study.
Striving for frequent updates of social media pages, mailboxes, etc.
Waste money on online games.
The list, of course, is not complete, and the symptoms do not have to be complex. But a number of them provoke Internet addiction in any case.
Development stages of internet addiction
At the first stage, the user gets acquainted with the Internet, learns about its capabilities and chooses a suitable virtual reality option for himself. Gradually, a person develops his own style in the network, which makes up for that lack of communication or information that he lacks in real life.
Further, there is a distance from real life, the user begins to spend more and more time in the reality that he chose at the previous stage. The time spent online is increasing … Also, at the second stage of the formation of Internet addiction, when a person stops using the Internet to achieve life goals, these very goals are transferred to virtual reality. For example, some people use the knowledge gained on the Web in life, others share this knowledge right there on the Internet, using selfish goals (in a good way), want to become famous or earn money, while others raise their ratings on social networks (reputation on sites and forums, etc.) or simply express themselves. So addiction develops when communication itself becomes the only, well, or the preferred way to achieve the goal.
The third stage is stabilizing. The problem is obvious, the signs and symptoms of Internet addiction are on the face, it smoothly turns into a chronic form. After a while, the passion for the chosen interaction becomes less pronounced, the activity in the network goes out. A person returns to reality, but he does it without any desire. Internet addiction persists, but in an inactive form, and intensifies with stress or with the emergence of new interesting topics.
The consequences of internet addiction
71% of office workers abuse the Internet during working hours by visiting social networking sites, online shopping, reading personal email or viewing pornography, gambling or role-playing.
People suffering from depression, anxiety and anxiety disorders, social phobia and other obsessive compulsions are more likely to develop Internet addiction than others.
The most common forms of internet addiction include internet sex addiction, online dating and relationships, and internet gambling addiction.
Children suffering from Internet addiction are more likely to suffer from depression, social problems at school and learning difficulties, and are at greater risk of developing physical illness and obesity.
Internet addiction entails a problem with falling asleep, sometimes refusal of food is possible. Physical diseases also appear after a certain time. Vision deteriorates, carpal tunnel syndrome develops. Basically, Web fans are sedentary, they are inactive. The consequences of this lifestyle:
- varicose veins;
- increased blood cholesterol, etc.
As for the social consequences of Internet dependence, it entails disruption to family relationships.
You can contact a specialist if you find the following symptoms in yourself or your loved ones:
- frequent presence at the computer;
- loss of live contact with friends and family;
- frequent checking and updating of mail, news feed and accounts;
- loss of time sense;
- a stronger impact of virtual news (reviews, messages, etc.) on the psychological state of a person in comparison with real life events;
- sleep disturbance and poor health;
A psychologist’s diagnosis will help determine the type of addiction and its degree, and then start treatment.
Treatment of this disorder is carried out by a psychotherapist and consists in eliminating the depressive and aggressive state of the patient. Such people need psychological support in order to restore the level of self-esteem, to form a hierarchy of needs.
The psychologist helps the patient to improve relationships in society and solve problems, as well as form new hobbies that can replace the time spent on the Internet. It is necessary to provide psychological assistance and relatives of the patient with the help of recommendations. It is forbidden to punish a person by turning off the Internet, because it is stressful for the patient, a depressive state may develop. You need to try to support the addicted person and help him overcome difficulties.
In addition, medication is recommended. An Internet addict is prescribed antidepressants (Amitriptyline), sedatives (Persen), and sleeping pills. If the patient has somatic disorders, then you should contact narrow specialists for recommendations.