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Internet Addiction

Playing internet video games in excess? Compulsively shopping online? Can't stop checking Facebook?

Internet addiction: What is it and how can it be treated?

The internet has become a focal point in most people’s everyday lives.

However, experts are increasingly raising concerns about the addictive nature of the internet.

Internet addiction is not recognised by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), but some may feel that their relationship with the internet has taken on an unhealthy or addictive tone.

What is crucial is not to misdiagnose a habit like an addiction.

Do you play a lot of internet video games? Can’t stop checking Facebook? Call 0808 115 0608 today and get immediate help.

Habits vs addictions

The harsh truth of alcoholism and use is that it can kill you.A habit can be a regularly practised action that is incorporated into a broader routine.

An addiction, however, is the reliance on a certain behaviour for a dopamine reward.

This becomes worse until the addict is unable to stop.

When reflecting on your relationship with the internet, consider that it may just be a habit that is harmless to your mental wellbeing.

Most working professionals incorporate the internet regularly into their lives, but this does not constitute an addiction.

What are the symptoms of internet addiction?

Symptoms of internet addiction include:

  • Sudden mood swings
  • Not being able to control time spent online
  • Increasing time online to gain a ‘high’
  • Withdrawal after time away from the internet
  • Continuing damaging behaviour online despite negative real-world consequences

What treatment options are there for people suffering from internet addiction?

Internet addiction can have serious consequences on a person’s life.

Fortunately, there are many practical steps that someone with internet addiction can make straight away, without the need of a medical professional.

Simple steps such as setting a timer on your phone and regular meditation can prove effective in combatting internet addiction.

Social interaction can also be highly beneficial – the internet can be isolating, a problem that only becomes worse when someone becomes addicted.

Taking time out to engage in group activities or meet with friends and family can be a great way to combat this isolation.

For some, internet addiction may require professional treatment.

Castle Craig Hospital is the UK’s leading addiction recovery clinic, specialising in helping professionals recover from addiction.

With three locations across the UK, Ireland and the Netherlands, click here to make a free enquiry.

Discern whether rehab is right for you here.

What resources are available for internet addiction?

When dealing with any addiction, we always recommend starting with an appointment with your local GP.

Addictions are complex, and it is easy to misdiagnose yourself online.

If you are confident that you are suffering from internet addiction, visit Healthline for an in-depth analysis, or visit The NHS’ page on internet addiction for background on internet addiction.

For confidential help, call us on 0808 115 0608.