Is There Any Solution?


Is There Any Solution?

Almost all addicts tend to have a certain degree of denial, and are frequently reluctant to seek help because of the conviction that there is no real problem or they can beat it themselves. Internet addiction is more of an impulse control disorder similar to compulsive gambling rather than a physical addiction to nicotine, alcohol or drugs. People who become addicted often do so because they can't seem to find pleasure or passion in their daily lives. As a result, they try to "tune out" or "get high" with alcohol drugs, gambling, excessive involvement with sex, work, running, hobbies, or anything that can provide a sense of satisfaction.

The Internet provides a convenient way to engage in vicarious sex, or gambling, or to pursue work and hobby interests whenever you feel the need. Anyone with access can become addicted but home-based computer users appear to be at greatest risk. Contrary to the computer nerd stereotype, the typical addict is more apt to be a middle-aged female with a limited educational background.

Is there any help for those who want to learn how to kick their habit? The Internet Addiction Support Group is moderated by the psychiatrist who coined the term Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD). It is a good place to explain what kinds of problems you are experiencing and learn how others have successfully dealt with similar difficulties. The Center for On-line Addiction (COLA) offers a corporate training program to assist affected workers. It also offers a helpful survey for identifying addictive behavior, as does the Assessment of Internet Addiction site. There is also Internet Junkies Anonymous, which offers the same 12-step program championed by Alcoholic Anonymous. (Unfortunately, all these require logging onto the web again, and you may be tempted to fall off the wagon.) It might be better to buy Caught in the Net: How to Recognize the signs of Internet Addiction - And a Winning Strategy for Recovery, or Hidden Dangers of the Internet - Using it Without Abusing it.

The American Institute of Stress.

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