Frequently Asked Questions For Internet Addictions!
What Types Of Internet Addictions Are There?
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Q 1. Can using the Internet become an addiction?
Any mood altering behavior can become addictive. Various chemical changes happen in the brain during pleasurable experiences. These changes produce a "high" much like those drug addicts feel when they use drugs. This "high" makes future pleasurable events much more likely to be repeated. Often, addictive behaviors serve the purpose of blocking the negative emotions that people have that are tied to tramatizing events and memories of these events.
Q 2. How is the cycle of addiction caused?
Removing stress, relieving discomfort, and increasing pleasure are all triggers that cause the cycle of addiction. Dispite the negative consequences of the pleasurable experiences, they are repeated. Guilt and shame are often experienced after one engages in such addictive behavior; such emotions can become triggers for future abuse of the internet, causing ones internet use to become a coping mechanism to alieviate the stress and discomfort, hence, the formation of the repetitive cycle of addiction.
Q 3. How is Internet Addiction prevented?
Monitoring parterns of use and becoming conscious of behavior patterns are both methods used to prevent internet addiction as well as other addictions. Honesty and countability to family and friends with your addictive behavior will serve to help in curbing the behavior. Identifying triggers and negative emotions that serve as excuses for why you would abuse the internet, will help you to prevent addiction.
Q 4. What are some of the signs and symptoms of Internet Addiction?
If Internet use becomes an interferance with your life or everyday activities, (e.g. does it impact your family, work, marriage, studies, etc.) you could have a problem with internet addiction. You maybe developing a problem if you use the internet as a means to enhance your mood or change your self image on a regular basis. It's how the time spent online impacts your life, rather than the amount of time actually logged on the internet, that actually qualifies the addiction.
Q 5. If I feel I have an Internet Addiction, what can I do?
Admitting it to yourself is the first step in combatting this addiction, the next would be admitting it to family and friends and becoming accountable for your behavior. This will aid greatly in changing the pattern of addiction. Though there are many Internet Addiction support groups, many of them are websites, therefore defeating the purpose. Consulting an addictions specialist is also highly recommended.
Q 6. Can I use the Internet recreationally?
Yes. Millions of people worldwide use the internet everyday and never abuse it, nor do they have an addiction to the net. Research suggests that close to 4-8% of people who use the internet on a regular basis can actually be considered Internet addicts. It is a real problem, but not an epidemic. Again, time spent online is not the issue(although it can be), what determines the seriousness of the problem is how that time spent impacts your life.