Monday, July 1, 2013

Get Charge Of Internet Addiction

Even though Internet Addiction Disorder is hard to diagnose medically, there are millions of cases of problematic internet usage and internet overuse. In fact, according to Stanford University's School of Medicine, approximately 1 in 8 Americans report a sign or symptom of internet addiction. There are several steps you can take that will help reduce your addiction to the internet.


Assessing Internet Addiction

1. Complete a self-assessment test that will indicate whether you have truly problematic internet addiction. The Center for Internet Addiction has a free, online self-reporting questionnaire that measures internet habits, feelings, and emotions relating to internet usage.

2. Make a list of the ways that your internet usage may be disrupting your life. For example, is it interfering with relationships? Do you neglect chores or tasks that need to be completed because of your internet usage? Are you lying to others about your internet usage? These are clear signs of internet addiction symptoms.

3. Identify any specific websites or internet applications that are consuming the majority of your time when surfing online. A few examples or pornographic websites, web chatrooms, specific internet forums, or online games such as MMORPG. These things may be contributing to your internet addiction.

Controlling Internet Addiction

4. Adapt new time patterns for internet usage. The Center for Internet Addiction recommends practicing the opposite of your internet habits currently. In other words, fill the time that you would usually be spending online with tasks and chores that need to be accomplished. For example, if you use the internet on weekday mornings, reverse the schedule and only use the internet during weekend mornings.

5. Set clear goals for your internet usage to break the internet addiction. If you currently use the internet for forty hours every week, make a goal of twenty to twenty-five hours per week. Write these goals down in a journal or somewhere where you can see them everyday.

6. Compose a schedule of allowed internet usage times and set alarm clocks and other reminders of when you should log off. Try to limit yourself to 2 hours at a time maximum for each period of internet usage. Post this schedule near your computer and don't forget to set your alarm or reminder.

7. Make a list of the negative consequences of your internet addiction and some of the benefits of regaining control of your internet habits. Keep this list in your pocket or in your wallet and take it out as frequent reminders of why you need to cut down on your internet usage. This will help when trying to reach the goals you have set.

8. Take up new hobbies or spend more time outdoors to avoid the internet temptation. Exercising, jogging, swimming, biking, hiking, and going out with friends are all great things to do instead of spending time on the internet. In addition, by spending time doing other things your mind will be less consumed with your internet habits and you will reduce your internet addiction.

Treatment and Support

9. Consider seeking help from a licensed counselor or professional psychologist. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy can help with the thoughts and feeling associated with an internet addiction and can help with successful goal setting and reaching.

10. Join a local support group in your community for internet addiction. If there are no specific internet addiction support groups, join an addiction support group anyway to see if they can help.

11. Communicate openly with family members and friends about your internet addiction. Ask them to help encourage you with your goals; family members can even help by proactively helping you achieve internet usage goals that have been set.

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