Internet Addiction Treatment Treatment & Rehab
The new Behavioural Addictions without Substance
At present days, the concept of addition is not exclusively related to the use of substances or drugs, such as opiates, alcohol, cocaine, amphetamines, benzodiazepines. It goes beyond traditional ways to include internet addiction or problematic use of internet or technologies.
The concept of addition is also associated with allegedly healthy and non-hazardous behaviours. These behaviours can become additive, depending on the strength, assiduity or amount of time and money one invest in carrying them out. It can seriously interfere with the person’s life. This is the case of internet use, sex, work, shopping, gambling, food, etc.
Factors that may increase risk are:
> Difficulty in facing the problems.
> Low self-esteem.
> Intolerance to unpleasant physical or psychological stimuli, such as pain and sadness.
> Depressive mood or dysphoria.
> Search for strong feelings, increase predisposition and vulnerability for a person to develop an addiction.
A behaviour becomes addictive when the person:
> loses control of the beginning or end of the behaviour.
> develops an addiction
> disappears the interest in other activities that previously gave him/her pleasure, maintaining the behaviour, despite being aware of its negative consequences.
Different Types of Behavioural Addiction
There are still many people today who see behavioural addiction simply as an addiction. In fact, they constitute a disorder or mental disorder.
There are several types of behavioural additions directly related to the obsessive need to be connected to the internet in its different modalities. Screen Addiction includes:
> smartphones and tablets.
> online game, online betting.
> compulsive shopping online.
> social networks.
Technological development has revolutionized our way of being in the world.
Internet addiction is defined as an impulse-control disorder that does not involve an intoxicating substance. That is, the inability of a person to control their use of technology resulting in feelings of frustration and functional impairment of daily activities.
As a result of this massive access and fast progress of digital technologies, the way people use the Internet evolves to an “always online” mode. Laptops, tablets, smartphones, smart watches are among the most popular devices.
It is undeniable that technologies and the internet are part of our day-to-day life at a personal and / or professional level. On the one hand, they help us shorten distances. And to access information faster and have another mode of entertainment.
But, on the other hand, it has its drawbacks and can have a negative impact:
> in daily routines.
> in work performance.
> in family relationships.
> in emotional moods.
According to several research studies, excessive use of the Internet – Online Casinos, Online Gambling, Video Games, Social Networking, Cybersex, Cyberbullying – is associated with low self-esteem, relationship difficulties with others and psychiatric disorders.
Although still considered a new behavioural disorder, common characteristics of the Internet Addiction with classic addiction models involving substances were identified.
Prominence | Change of Humour | Tolerance | Withdrawal | Conflict | Relapse provide a basis for identifying problematic use of the Internet.
Gambling is very present in our society. Ease of access, immediacy of reward and lack of sense of control can turn gambling into risky behaviour.
The extent of the problem in Portugal
The prevalence of gambling in Portugal is 65.7%, being higher in men and between 35-44 years.
According to the SICAD Report 2017, the prevalence is even higher in those who:
> holds an average level of education (2nd and 3rd cycle, and secondary).
> who work.
> in aggregates with gross monthly income of more than € 1,000.
On the other hand, 20% of young people use the Internet for gaming practices on a regular basis: at least 4 times in the last 7 days. It is more common in boys (39%) than in girls (5%). The online money game me 2% of young people, especially boys.
The Report stresses that there is a direct link between the prevalence of gambling and more harmful use of alcohol and other substances. Former smokers have a higher prevalence of gambling.
The Pathological Gambling
Gambling becomes pathological when the person does not have control to start or end the behaviour and maintains it even when economic losses significantly change the different areas of his life.
There are different reasons why a person maintains the behaviour:
> forget the problems.
> easy earnings,
> compensation for the absence of social relations.
> the illusion of control, among others.
This loss of control in the player generates a sense of anxiety and depression that can lead to put his/her life in jeopardy, since this addiction is the one most related with suicide attempts.
Do not confuse hobby with addiction. Many people say that someone is addicted to video games because they spend a lot of time, but this is not entirely accurate. When someone is fond of an activity, such as collecting stamps, listening to music, playing chess, etc., they can spend many hours. But no one would say that he is an addict, to refer to his liking for his hobbies.
The taste for video games becomes addictive when it begins to interfere in daily life, at work and / or family level. We can say that the addition to videogames is the imperative and constant need to play, even at times less appropriate and harmful to the person. In some severe cases, the person may stop eating and sleeping for periods that are hazardous to their health.
The most common symptoms of video game addiction are:
> sleep disorders.
> distancing from family and friends.
> loss of interest in favourite activities.
> not respecting stipulated hours.
> problems with studies or loss of productivity at work.
> aggression and irritability when one cannot play, or is late to get home and start playing.
It is, however, possible to reverse these behaviours!
Behaviour Addiction Treatment
In most cases, people who suffer from any of these addictions do not follow any treatment. However, there is evidence that confirms that people who seek professional help can improve their quality of life.
Dianova can help overcome these problems by offering specialized treatment:
> Qualified and personalized support by a team of professionals in the areas of General Practitioner, Psychiatry and Psychology.
> An integral and coordinated intervention from a multidisciplinary perspective in all areas related with the complex problem of addiction, being the psychological support essential and fundamental.
The intervention focuses:
> on impulse-control management,
> helping to achieve new learning processes in order to improve self-esteem,
> manage patient’s emotions
> tools to prevent relapses and enhance the patient’s resources and abilities
The results of this self-test should and must be used only as guidance for understanding your use of drugs, drug addiction and related health problems. A full evaluation and diagnosis must be completed by a health professional, in order to determine the most adequate counselling or inpatient treatment.