Internet addiction is not a set amount of hours a week. Internet addiction is excessively using the internet (laptop, desktop, blackberry, smart phones, etc) to the point that it’s disruptive and / or interferes with someone’s everyday life.
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People most at risk for internet addiction usually are people who have anxiety disorders. The internet often distracts them from fears or other things they feel anxiety about.
Another group of people at risk are people who are depressed, often turn to the internet. The internet distracts them from their feelings but to much time online can actually make the depression worse.
People with other addictions such as alcohol, sex or gambling are at risk of internet addiction.
If someone is less mobile or social then they use to be or lack social support are at risk of internet addiction.
Internet addiction can lead to depression when the internet is used as an escape. If you feel the internet is an issue for you or someone you love, begin by logging online time. Note the reason or feeling for being online.
Once you’ve figured out why your online and how much you’re online, you can begin to modify your behavior. To begin dealing with Internet Addiction cut back online time. If you need to use a timer.
Dealing with why your online is the next step. If being online is helping to blow off steam, stress, dealing with angry feelings, it’s time to learn how to cope with those feelings. If the internet is your way of coping with those feelings, it’s time to join a support group or enter a counseling program. If the internet is a sometime way of dealing with those feelings, monitor it. If the time increases or the internet becomes the method of choice for dealing with anger or stress, it’s a good idea to get help.
Once you’ve cut back on online time and found a more effective way of coping, think about building offline relationships. Take time each week to go out and do things you enjoy.
The internet can be a good and healthy tool, as well as way of spending time. When the internet begins to take over your life or you can’t stop thinking about it, you’re on your way to internet addiction.
Like internet addiction depression can take over your life. When your thoughts are consumed by loneliness, anxiety and other feelings associated with depression are, don’t turn to the internet. The internet will make depression worse. Reach out for help from family, friends or a counselor.
Keep a healthy balance of offline life and online time, it will cut your risk of internet addiction, as well as keep you from a deeper depression.Lawrence T. Lam of the School of Medicine, Sydney, in Australia. The risk of depression in teens was 2.5 times higher in internet addicted teenagers, then teenagers that were casual to non internet users. In the study, they tracked teenagers 13 – 18 years old. Adults are at increased risk, too.