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Internet Addiction and Mental Health

The internet has become a necessary part of most of our lives. We work on it, play on it, form relationships on it, use it for research, and more. There are some great benefits of using the internet for education, social interaction, work, and entertainment. However, there are some negative affects of internet overuse. Furthermore, some people develop an addiction to the internet that can negatively impact their wellbeing.

If you or someone you know is suffering from mental health issues you can go to BetterHelp.com to find a therapist. They can help you with a plethora of issues whether there are related to overuse of or addiction to the internet.

How Does the Internet Affect Mental Health?

Internet use may increase stress levels or anxiety. There are several opinions of why this may be the case. Some experts believe that it could be related to the sheer amount of negative news. Others think it may be associated with information or sensory overload.

Another affect that the internet seems to have on individuals is its affect on our social interactions and relationships. Even though it can be good to use the internet to keep in tough with friends and family or even to meet new people, it can also lead to dependency on this medium and isolation or decreased face to face interaction.

Using your computer, tablet, or phone too close to bedtime can disrupt sleep patterns or decrease the quality of your sleep. It is not practical to eliminate internet use, but it can be beneficial to limit use, especially while you are with your friends and family, working, or before sleep. You can set an amount of acceptable time or time frames to avoid any internet use if that helps you decrease your amount of screen time.

What is Internet Addiction?                                                    

Internet addiction is not officially recognized as a disorder, many mental health professionals take it into consideration when they are helping an individual. However, just because you use the internet a lot does not mean that you have internet addiction. If the internet use is negatively impacting or interfering with other aspects of your life, then some may consider it internet addiction.

One of the things that contributes to internet overuse is the fact that a lot of people can access the internet virtually immediately at any time of the day or night. It also gives some people a sense of control or a feeling of excitement.

People who suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder may have emotional and maybe even physical symptoms. Someone who is addicted to the internet may feel depression, guilt, anxiety, and isolation. They may feel a sense of euphoria when using the internet or lose their sense of time. They may prioritize internet use over important interactions or work.

Overuse of the internet may make us ignore physical symptoms telling us the computer usage is impacting our body. We may begin to suffer from frequent backaches and neck pain or development carpal tunnel syndrome. We may also experience headaches, insomnia, unhealthy eating habits, and weight fluctuation.

How is Internet Addiction Treated?

Professionals disagree on whether internet addiction needs to be treated. However, some do argue that medications and therapy can help improve someone’s wellbeing and mental health in relation to their internet use. Mental health professionals often hold the belief that the internet addiction is a symptom of underlying mental health issues such as depression or anxiety.

Treating the anxiety, depression, or other mental illness can often help with the internet addiction. Therapy alongside medication and altered habits may increase serotonin and decrease internet usage and dependency.

Many mental health professionals believe that internet addiction is similar to other impulse control disorders, substance addiction, and gambling. A therapist or other mental health professional can work with an individual to acknowledge their behaviors and regain control over their internet use. The goal is not abstinence from the internet, but healthy usage. Some professionals focus on eliminating the addictive type of usage such as pornography or a specific type of video game.

Cognitive behavioral therapy, group therapy, art therapy, and self-help treatment groups may all be effective ways to treat internet disorder and other related issues. The therapist may assess the individual to determine what the underlying cause of the addiction is and treat that cause first.

Conclusion

If you are addicted to online shopping, gaming, pornography, social media, or information seeking, there may be an underlying mental illness. Treating this mental illness may be the necessary approach to reducing your internet usage and developing more healthy habits. If you feel like your internet use has negatively impacted your social life, work life, or general wellbeing, you may benefit from therapy.

Marie Miguel Biography

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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