Monthly Archives: November 2013

Teens and Internet Addiction

Internet Addiction by Darry DToday the internet is used for just about everything from checking an email to running a business. It may seem as if internet usage on the daily basis is productive, however, it if becomes too much it can be a problem. There are some who use the internet so much that it has interfered with their personal and professional lives. When a person prefers to be at home on the internet gambling, surfing the web, or engaging in other online activities over doing something with friends and family this could be a problem. However, when a person is not willing to stop the excessive internet usage despite the trouble its causing, this is more serious and needs to be changed.

What Does it Mean to be Addicted to the Internet?
Internet addiction covers several different problems. Cyber-sex is an addiction to pornography chat rooms, or adult role play sites. Cyber relationship addictions are when a person is addicted to social networking, instant messaging, and chat rooms. Net compulsions are a person who has a serious problem with online gambling and stock trading. Information overload is for those who are addicted to surfing the web vs. getting real work done. Computer addiction is when a person is addicted to playing computer games off line.

What is the Difference between Healthy and Unhealthy Usage?

Internet:  absolute communication, absolute isolation.  ~Paul Carvel

The internet is necessary to accomplish many things in today’s technological age. It is used on phones, tablets, laptops, and computers around the world. Determining what regular usage vs. excessive usage is will depend upon the individual. There are some people that need the internet to operate their businesses, and some that rely on social media networks to talk to friends and family members. Unhealthy internet usage only occurs when the person is online so much that it hinders their ability to be productive in school, work, and elsewhere.

Risk Factors of Computer Addiction

There are some risk factors that make it more likely for you to become addicted to computers and internet usage. If you are suffering from anxiety, depression, other addictions, no social support, experiencing social stress, or the inability to move around as you once did.

The Internet is so big, so powerful and pointless that for some people it is a complete substitute for life.  ~Andrew Brown

Symptoms and Signs of Internet and Computer Addiction

The symptoms you feel for internet and computer addiction will vary from person to person. Below are some warning signs that you could be on your way to a problem:

  • Often lose track of time while using the internet
  • Difficulty completing work or home tasks as a result of internet usage
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Defensive when asked about internet use
  • Sense of euphoria when using the internet

Cyber-sex and Porn

Both pornography and cyber-sex are sexual addiction issues; however, because they can be easily accessed online, they can also become an internet addiction. It is very easy for abusers to get stuck on the internet for hours on in engaged in sexual fantasies that could not happen in real life. As a result of the constant internet stimulation it begins to eat away at real life relationships.

Online Gambling

Gambling has been an ongoing problem for many years, however, in recent times the availability of gambling games online has surged the addiction to new levels. Virtual casinos are open 24 hours per day 7 days per week and anyone with the internet is able to access it. It becomes easy for addicts who believe they will hit big to lose thousands of dollars while sitting in front of a computer screen.

Cyber Relationships
Many people take to the internet as a way to find social relationships and even romantic ones. This ever popular method of meeting people is okay if done modestly. However, there are some who would prefer their “virtual” relationships to real life relationships, which is when it becomes an addiction. Because they can use their imaginations and be who they want to be to a person online, it seems much more stimulating than dealing with real life.

Self Help Tips for Internet Addiction

There are plenty of ways you can try to get your internet usage under control. While you can conquer this addiction alone, it is always best to have some support on board to guide you. This way you don’t run the risk of slipping back into your old ways. The first thing you want to do is make sure that you identify the underlying causes of your internet addiction, figure out whether or not you’re dealing with loneliness, depression or anxiety, or simply longing for a personal connection. From there you want to develop new ways to cope with the real issue, seek out for internet stress relief and finally build a strong support system to help you get past it.

Modifying your internet usage is also very important. To do that you want to begin by first keeping a log of how much time you use the internet for non productive reasons. Then set new limits on when you can and cannot use the internet. Lastly, you want to find healthier things to do with your time to replace internet usage so that you don’t become bored and relapse.

Treatment and Counseling for Internet Addiction

Therapy when dealing with any form of addiction is advised. It can provide you with the tools you need to control your internet usage. Cognitive behavioral therapy is often used for this. The process involves step by step methods for stopping compulsive behaviors that cause you to use the internet. It will help change the way you think about computer usage and help you find better ways to cope with unexpressed feelings.

Group Support

It might be difficult for you to find some support groups for internet addiction as the idea is still very new. However, if there are simultaneous programs that can help you, it would be great to join them. For instance, if you’re using the internet to find relationships because your addicted to sex, sex addicts anonymous might be ideal. If you’re dealing with marriage problems, couples counseling would be best.

Helping a Child with Internet Addiction
When you’re dealing with children who are addicted to the internet, it is your job as the parent to set the rules and assure that they abide by them. You want to monitor how much they use the computer, encourage other healthy social activities, talk to your child if they appear to be abusing the use, and get help the moment you notice something is wrong.

Help for Overcoming Internet Addiction

 

Help for Social Phobia Sufferers

It is common for a person to get nervous right before giving a speech in front of a large crowd, or going on a job interview. However, there are some people who suffer from social phobia or social anxiety that goes well beyond the normal feelings of shyness. The difference between having butterflies in your stomach and perhaps suffering from social anxiety disorder is quite obvious. If someone is so nervous to be embarrassed that they refrain from participating in certain activities, they are likely suffering from a social phobia. This can hinder a person from accomplishing a lot in life, which is why it is important to learn to push past the nerves.

What Does it Mean to Have Social Anxiety or a Social Phobia?
When a person has an overwhelming amount of fear about being in social settings because they feel judged by others, they are likely dealing with a social phobia. For many who suffer from this problem, being in social situations can be so scary that they become extremely anxious. This in turn causes some to avoid social settings at all costs. People who have social phobias essentially have a fear of how others perceive them and feel embarrassed an anxious in front of crowds. Some who have social fears are in most cases aware that they have this problem, but lack the know how to get past it.

Things That Trigger Social Phobias

You might be surprised to learn that social anxiety disorders and phobias are very common. There are lots of people who struggle with the fears of being rejected or embarrassed. The difference is that each person has different triggers for those fears. There are some who suffer from generalized social anxiety disorder, which means that they are fearful of social situations such as eating out, talking to new people, or attending events with lots of participants. However, the most common form of social phobia is the fear of speaking in public.

Signs You Could be Experiencing Social Anxiety
Now if you’re the type to get a bit nervous in social settings, this does not mean that you have a social phobia. It is also widely common for a person to be nervous and a bit anxious about certain atmospheres. However, if your fears are keeping you from carrying on with your daily routine, this is when it may be a problem.

Emotional Signs of Social Phobias

•    Overly self-conscious and anxious when involved in social settings
•    Worrying intensely for months before a social event is to take place
•    Afraid of being viewed and judged by others
•    Fears of embarrassment

Physical Signs of Social Phobias
•    Difficulty breathing
•    Extreme butterflies
•    Shaking and trembling
•    Increased heart rate
•    Dizziness
•    Sweating

Behavioral Signs of Social Phobias

•    Avoidance of social events
•    Always needing someone around when you go new places
•    Hiding or silence to avoid being noticed
•    Use of substances or alcohol to ease nerves

“The moment of crisis had come, and I must face it. My old fears, my diffidence, my shyness, my hopeless sense of inferiority, must be conquered now and thrust aside. If I failed now I should fail forever.”
Daphne du Maurier, Rebecca

Treating Your Social Anxiety Disorder: Change Your Thought Process

When you suffer from social anxiety it does not just come out of thin air. You generally have negative thoughts which trigger the anxiety. Often, those who suffer from social phobias think:

•    They’re going to look crazy
•    They’re going to embarrass themselves
•    They won’t impress the crowd
•    No one will like them or what they have to say

There are ways that you can challenge these thoughts on your own. The first thing you should do is identify your negative thoughts. When you identify them, you then want to question their validity. For instance, if you think someone is not going to like what you have to say, can you prove that without a reasonable doubt? By breaking the negative thought down and thinking logically, you can debunk the negative vibes which could help give a more positive outlook.

Treating Your Social Anxiety Disorder: Controlled Breathing

Whatever your social fears are, your body begins to go through changes as those thoughts enter your mind or the time nears for you to attend a social event. One of the most common things to change in the body is the way you breathe. The faster you’re breathing the more off balance your level of oxygen is in the body. This in turn results in more complications such as dizziness, increased heart rate, and tension in your muscles. By learning to breathe at a slower pace, you can stop some of the physical signs from occurring. Here is a great exercise to try:

•    Sitting in a proper position you should place on hand over your chest and the other over your stomach.
•    Slowly begin inhaling through your nose for about four seconds. Your stomach should be rising while your chest should barely be moving.
•    Hold your breath for another two seconds.
•    Then for the next six seconds you should exhale through your mouth slowly making sure to release most of the air.

Continuing this pattern before you participate in a social situation can make all the difference.

Treating Your Social Anxiety: Facing Your Fear
The best way to overcome something that you’re afraid of is to face it head on. The more you try to avoid it, the more you’re holding onto the phobia. It is also true that when you avoid social situations, you could be preventing yourself from experiencing a lot that life has to offer. Instead you should challenge yourself and your fears. This does not mean that you should go to the Yankee Stadium and sing the National Anthem, but it means start slow and work your way up. Start off going to a small social gathering of a few people and as you feel comfortable work your way up to larger crowds.e.

Treating Your Social Anxiety: Creating Positive Relationships

Another way that you can get over your social phobias is to participate in supportive social groups. Here is a list of ways you could begin turning negative interactions into positive ones:

•    Take a class for social skills or public speaking. This will help you learn the skills to speak with others and feel comfortable.
•    Work on connecting better with others. For some people communicating effectively is complex. By working at fixing your communication with those you do interact with, you can essentially learn to communicate better all around.

Treating Your Social Anxiety: Minor Lifestyle Changes

No lifestyle changes alone are going to heal your social phobias, but there are some changes that are necessary as you work on treating yourself. These changes listed below should improve your overall level of anxiety:

•    Stop drinking caffeine – Caffeine products have stimulants which can increase your anxiety
•    Drink alcohol in moderation – If you’re a social drinker as a way to keep your cool, you should know that alcohol increases the chances for an anxiety attack.
•    Stop smoking – Nicotine is a very strong stimulant which also increases your anxiety levels.
•    Get enough sleep – It is important that you get a good night’s rest. When you’re not sleeping well, you are prone to become more anxious.

What to Do When Self Treatment is Not Working?

Whether or not you’ll be able to help yourself through your social phobias and anxieties will depend upon the person. There are some people who may need more techniques or treatment options from a professional. If you’re still struggling with your social anxiety, it is a good idea to seek reputable professional help.

For a list of reputable therapists near you visit: www.therapistunlimited.com

Treatment Options for Treating Social Phobias

Many mental health professionals prefer to use the cognitive behavioral therapy method for treating those with social anxiety. The therapy option is based on the idea that your thoughts can affect how you feel and your feelings will determine how you act. Therefore, if they can get you to change your method of thinking, they can also cure the behavioral problem.

Other therapy options would include group therapy. Such therapies utilize hands on activities such as role playing, observation, and participant exercises that can help you prepare for the outside world. The objective is the more practice there is, the better you should be once you face your fear in reality.

Last but not least are medications. In some cases in order to relieve the anxiety symptoms, you will need to take medication. Medications are usually offered in combination with group or individual therapy.

Whatever you social fears are, if they’ve stopped you from doing things that are necessary, fun, or a part of life, it is time to get help. Start changing your mindset, controlling your breathing, and making small lifestyle changes to face your fears. If all else fails, seek help from a mental health professional so that you can learn to love the spotlight at all costs.

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