Internet addiction emerged as a psychological and social problem at the end of the 20th century. Although the beginnings of the Internet date back to the seventh decade of the last century, the definition of this disorder in professional circles was given twenty years later.
The term internet addiction was first used in 1995 by an American psychiatrist, Dr. Ivan Goldberg. He described this type of addiction as a mental disorder characterized by an obsession with being on the Internet. As more and more people started experiencing the problem of uncontrolled Internet content consumption, other psychiatrists and psychologists also approached to analyzing and treating it.
Defining this modern phenomenon as a health concern (the so-called cyber disorder) and classifying it as an addiction has made a major step in the treatment of Internet addicts.
Internet – Advantages and hazards
The modern world is almost impossible to imagine without the Internet. This revolutionary technological breakthrough has made incredible changes in human life. The expansion of the Internet is such that there is almost no place on the planet where it is not used. The benefits that society receives from the Internet can be classified as one of the greatest civilization discoveries, such as the invention of electricity or penicillin.
Searching the Internet is justified and desirable if one intends to gather the information necessary to do a job. Search of data from various fields of human activity is now considerably facilitated and accelerated thanks to this network. Thus, the Internet information base is of great importance in doing scientific and other research.
However, whatever benefits the Internet may provide, one should be very careful about using it. Parents need to be especially careful as uncontrolled staying on this network can cause a number of problems in children. Attention disorders, desocialization and aggression are just a few.
Many scientific studies published in our country and in the world show that excessive use of the Internet is not only psychological but also a social problem. Constant staying online eliminates the boundary between the real and the virtual world. Obsession with social networks, compulsive shopping in e-shops and constant gaming are some of the pathological behaviors on the Internet.
Are you addicted to the Internet?
Do you check social media likes as soon as you open your eyes in the morning and before falling asleep in the evening? Virtual friend posts are more interesting to you than having a conversation at the table with your parents, kids or real friends? Your smartphone or tablet is in your hands for hours? Ask yourself if you are already in a state of digital addiction.
Digital addiction is a very serious problem that matches addiction to alcohol, narcotics and gambling. According to statistics, it is estimated that as many as 44% of people suffer from it. When a person is unable to access the Internet, he or she feels stress, nervousness and anxiety. Poor concentration and memory, irritability and sudden mood swings are some of the manifestations of addictive behavior.
Therefore, Internet addiction should be approached very responsibly, just as other addictive disorders. As soon as the problem is identified, it is necessary to seek professional help.
Internet addiction – When the virtual world replaces reality
Desocialization, as a consequence of exclusion from the real world due to excessive “staying” in the world that simulates reality, is a problem that occurs not only in children but also in adults. Gambling, auctions, playing board games with a robot or with unknown playmates at the other end of the world (chess, monopoly, video games, etc.) lead to isolation. When one wakes up from the comforts of the imaginary world, they often find themselves misunderstood and condemned by the environment.
Neglecting daily activities, such as socializing and learning, business and household duties, results in conflicts with loved ones. Sleep and eating disorders, as well as depression, despondency and guilt, are frequent companions to the alienation caused by Internet overuse. That is why Internet addiction is rightly called social deviance.
Compulsive use of the Internet most often occurs in response to dissatisfaction with one’s life or some segment of it. Fulfillment and pleasure are sought after endlessly spending time surfing, that is, pointless searching of different pages. The emotional void is filled by cyber love and sexual relationships, while the search for real partners is avoided. Therefore, it is necessary, with expert help, to first determine the causes of addiction and then cure the addiction itself.
Internet addiction – Is recovery possible?
If a person recognizes that he or she has a problem with technology addiction and is unable to reduce the time spent on the Internet alone, he or she should seek professional help. Our team of renowned and award-winning specialists will help you deal with your problem more easily.
At VIP Vorobiev addiction treatment clinic, we have been successfully implementing an Internet addiction treatment program. The primary goal of this treatment is to eliminate the obsessive need to constantly stay on the Internet.
Psychotherapy, conducted at our clinic by greatest experts, reveals the causes of addictive behavior. Then, by special methods, we work on reconstructing the destroyed willing mechanisms and stabilizing the person and his or her psyche. Basic life functions, such as sleeping and eating, are reestablished. In this way, we contribute to eliminating nervousness and irritability and the person regains control over his or her emotions and life.
The stages and methods of treating Internet addiction
The treatment of Internet addiction at VIP Vorobiev clinic lasts for 14 days, is performed in several stages, and includes the following proven methods:
- Diagnostics aims to assess the psychophysical condition of the patient. The standard diagnostic examination of a patient’s physical condition includes urine test, general and biochemical blood test, check for virus presence in the blood, ECG and examination by an internist.
The second part of the diagnostic examination involves the assessment of the patient’s mental state. Psychological tests determine the level of addiction in the patient, assess the consequences left on his mental health, whether there are any psychological disorders, whether voluntary mechanisms are preserved, what is the desire and motivation for healing, whether depression is present, etc.
After consultation and psychological diagnosis, our physicians determine a strategy and an individual treatment program. If the results show some deviations from the standard or certain risk factors (such as chronic diseases).
- Pharmacotherapy, that is, medication therapy at the beginning of treatment helps to psychologically stabilize the patient. With medications, anxiety and depression are eliminated. Upon stabilization, the patient will be able to analyze their condition, respond appropriately to events and accept them. Only then can the next phase of treatment be approached.
Internet addiction – Technology used to combat addiction
- Medical device treatment, ie. Neuro-jet therapy, is a method by which special impulses affect the neurons in the brain responsible for the secretion of dopamine and endorphin (happiness hormones). The Neuro-jet device normalizes the levels of these hormones. Stimulation with this device is painless and the patient feels only vibrations and slight tickling. The frequency and intensity of impulses are controlled by a computer.
- Lateral therapy is used to regulate the asymmetry of brain hemispheres. It is a neurophysiological method of correcting behavior and will disorders, as well as reducing the pathological desire to stay on the Internet. This method achieves normalization of the left and right cerebral hemispheres function.
- Eye movement integrator is a method of desensitization through the establishment of new eye movements. This integrator blocks the experiences associated with the pathological desire to use the Internet. Special glasses emit encoded video signals into the patient’s brain while audio signals are sent through headphones. The patient’s brain is affected by images that form in his subconscious an intense sense of aversion to Internet overuse.
Psychotherapy as a form of treatment for addictive disorders
- Psychotherapy includes several psychological models applied depending on the patient’s mental state.
– Individual psychotherapy involves the individual work of a psychotherapist with the patient. In psychotherapy, the patient is advised on how to easily deal with stress in life and at work, as well as preserve his or her personality and establish a satisfactory relationship with people in the immediate environment (family, friends, co-workers). The patient is expected to actively participate in therapy, to establish, as advised by the psychotherapist, a plan of daily activities he must adhere to.
– Educational psychotherapy helps to identify the causes of the disease. Revealing the misconceptions the patient has about his or her condition or disease contributes to healing. By watching educational films, patients are presented with the physical, psychological, occupational and social consequences of their addiction. Educational therapy also involves patient training regarding withdrawal behavior.
– Group psychotherapy involves the work of a psychotherapist with a group of patients. Depending on the psychotherapist’s assessment, the patient is included in a group of patients with the same addiction problem. Working in a group is sometimes more effective than individual treatment as it is easier for a patient to find out that he or she is not alone in their problem. By sharing the experiences and temptations they fall into, patients can more easily resolve the internal and interpersonal conflicts caused by addiction. With this type of therapy, it is often easier to relieve tension and behavior is corrected more quickly.
– In family psychotherapy, the psychotherapist collaborates with family members of the patient. As family members are co-addicts in the disease, they learn how to treat the patient after hospital treatment. Family psychotherapy solves problems in family relationships and eliminates conflicts between family members.
Internet addiction – psychological struggle
- Mental blockage is a procedure that includes some elements of hypnosis. By delving into the subconscious and projecting images that relate to the most important life events, the patient feels as if he is going through his life again. These moments are deeply emotional and very intense. Patients react violently to the disturbing content from their memory. The experience they have during the hypnotic condition often has a sobering effect on patients and they do not want to return to addiction ever again.
Internet addiction – Outpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment is the last stage in the fight against addiction. Upon completion of treatment, an objective analysis of the results is performed using various tests and psychometric scales. The analysis of rehabilitation results is two-way. This is how the patient looks at their own treatment: what the results are, what symptoms of the disease have disappeared, how much they feel confident and how they will organize their lives.
After leaving the hospital, monitoring of the patient’s mental state continues. This phase of maintaining results lasts for one year and involves regular monthly checks. VIP Vorobiev clinic is always there for their patients – 24 hours a day, seven days a week. In the fight against relapse, patients always receive our full support. Apart from regular check-ups, they can contact our doctors at any time.
If you would like to consult regarding the treatment of addiction that you or someone close to you has, do not hesitate to call us. All our doctors are certified anesthetists, psychiatrists and psychologists with 10-25 years of experience. Discretion and commitment of our physicians guarantee the most effective approach to each patient individually and – the best results. Knowledge, expertise and extensive experience in treating patients from all over the world are the best recommendations of VIP Vorobiev clinic in the field of addictive disorder treatment.