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With evolving times, the term addiction which was once thought to be restricted to only drug use, has now expanded to include various behavioural addictions such as Pathological Gambling Disorder, Internet addiction, Gaming addiction, etc. With increasing ease of access and reduced cost of technology like smart phones, laptops, etc. these disorders are growing into an epidemic of the modern era, affecting people of all age groups, especially children and adolescents.
At UMANG CLINIC, we are seeing more and more cases of behaviour addiction nowadays.
With our clinical expertise, can help you lead an Gambling and Internet addiction free life that affects you and your family.
Examples of Behavioural addictions are :
A gambling addiction, sometimes referred to as 'compulsive gambling' or 'problem gambling’, is characterised by having a continuous urge to gamble, despite the negative effects that it can have on your life.
Internet addiction refers to an impulse control disorder which is similar to that experienced by compulsive gamblers, where lack of management and control of temptation to use the internet, often for lengthy periods at a time, overrides any inherent ability to resist.
The condition can arise for many different reasons, although underlying symptoms of anxiety, depression and stress can cause you to compulsively use the internet as a way of avoiding the "real world".
Situational issues such as loneliness and a general difficulty making and maintaining relationships can lead to unhealthy amount of internet use, particular if you are looking to replicate such emotional attachment with chat rooms, social networking and virtual communities.
Other people may develop an internet addiction when chronicling their lives through YouTube videos, blogs or online journals, feeling a compulsive need to create content and update their followers on such a regular basis that they struggle to make time for anything else. In the World, the most frequent categories of internet addiction, based on those who seek help, are pornography and multiplayer roleplay games.
The effects of internet addiction can have a significant impact on your personal life, with family, academic and financial problems potentially occurring, as they can with many other addictions. Even if your internet addiction isn’t financially dependent, such as spending large periods of time on shopping or gambling websites, the amount of time spent on the internet can see you become increasingly solitary and isolated away from spending quality time with loved ones.
If you suffer from an underlying mental health condition such as social anxiety or depression, it is believed that associated feelings of low-self-esteem and negative self-image may contribute to how much time is spent on the internet. This can lead to the creation of online personas and alternate identities which portray a version of yourself that you want others to see.
Internet addiction can be limited to desktop or laptop use and confined to a specific location such as in your home or even at work. For people who are prone to internet addiction and can’t simply ‘switch off’ their devices, the onset of smartphones has arguably made it increasingly difficult to resist the temptation to go online at regular intervals.
While there is no specific amount of internet time or amount of messages you send that means you have an internet addiction, a diagnosis will only be given if compulsive use is reducing time which would usually be spent engaging in face-to-face conversations, completing work tasks, or getting involved in hobbies and activities you used to enjoy.
Typical signs and symptoms of internet addiction disorder include :
The following effects will become apparent to a person who is suffering from an internet addiction :
Withdrawal symptoms from smartphone or internet addiction when you attempt to cut back on use may include :
Addiction to the internet can be compared to other forms of addiction such as alcohol or drugs, in the sense that it can provide a type of escape or 'high' for some users.
This is especially true when considering the release of your brain's "happy chemical", dopamine, which is released when playing a computer game, interacting with people online, or receiving "likes" for content that you have posted on social media. This mood altering effect thereby increases your desire to repeat the process in order to attain the same feeling.
Much like the relationship experienced with addiction to drugs and alcohol, heavy and repeated use can lead to building up a tolerance to the pleasurable effects of using the internet or playing an online computer game, causing you to feel the urge to spend increasingly longer periods to achieve the same effect.
Those with other pre-existing addictions or mental health conditions such as depression or anxiety can be more predisposed to having an internet addiction. The secluded behaviour of internet addiction can actually increase unwanted symptoms of co-existing mental health conditions, due to social interaction being required to feel increased self-confidence, relieve feelings of mental illness and boost your mood.
Treatment of internet/ smartphone addiction essentially involves Behaviour Therapy. Also, diagnosing and treating symptoms of any underlying mental health conditions would help in the long term treatment.