Internet Addiction Help – Is Internet Addiction Caused By Other Underlying Disorders?

There is ongoing debate among psychologists, counsellors, psychiatrists, and physicians about whether “Internet Addiction Disorder” should be considered a diagnosable mental health problem.

Organizations like the American Medical Association have, to date, rejected proposals to classify internet addiction as a mental disorder. This decision was largely based on insufficient research and scientific consensus on the addictive nature of the internet and certain online games.

Because it is not yet an officially recognized disorder, Internet Addition has found itself suffering from a bit of an identity crisis – sometimes being referred to as “excessive”, “problematic”, or “unhealthy” computer use. The use of these terms obviously places the emphasis on the harmful behavior rather than diagnosing the individual him/herself as addicted.

Internet Addiction: A “Catch-All” Term

Further complicating the issue is the fact that the term internet addiction is somewhat of a catch-all label for problems associated with excessive use of computers or technology. For example, the term has been use to describe compulsive online gambling, pornography use, texting, chatting, social networking, web surfing, online shopping, and video gaming.

The Symptom of an Underlying Problem or the Cause?

Numerous theories have been proposed to help explain why certain individuals become addicted to the internet and why certain online activities may be more likely to encourage unhealthy patterns of use. For example, it has been suggested that some people may turn to the internet to avoid feelings of depression, loneliness, shyness, and anxiety. This of course assumes that online addiction is a symptom of an underlying problem rather than a problem in and of itself.

Others argue just the opposite – that internet and computer addiction can bring on mental health problems like depression and anxiety.

Because online addiction is such a new problem and not yet well understood by mental health professionals (at least compared to other issues such as depression and anxiety), individuals seeking help for internet and computer addiction may encounter doctors, therapists, and psychologists who adopt one of the polarized views above.

For example, consider someone struggling with both depression and online addiction – something that is actually quite common.

One therapist may conclude that the depressed mood is clearly the primary issue and that the excessive internet use is “obviously just a symptom of depression and the person’s way of distracting himself from underlying negative feelings.” Another therapist may conclude that internet addiction is clearly the primary issue and that the depression is “obviously just the natural consequence of spending so much time online disconnected from the real world.”

Depending on the presenting problems, both of these approaches may be a disservice to the client.

A More Complex Relationship Between Internet Addiction and Mental Health Problems

As is often the case with issues like this one, the true relationship between internet addiction and other disorders may be more complex than either of these two extremes:\

  • Other psychological disorders can (certainly) exist independently of internet addiction
  • Other psychological disorders can (very likely) be the underling cause of excessive online use
  • Internet addiction can (quite likely) exist independently of other psychological disorders
  • Internet addiction can (very possibly) increase the likelihood of developing other psychological disorders
  • And finally, both internet addiction and other psychological disorders can (almost certainly) exist simultaneously with one feeding off the other and as a consequence, maintaining or intensifying the symptoms of both

Choosing an Alcohol Rehab Center for a Loved One

Choosing an alcohol rehabilitation center for a loved one doesn’t have to be a daunting task. If you are making this important decision, it is imperative that you do your research in order to find the best facility possible, ensuring they have a speedy recovery and minimizing their chance of relapse in the future. Here are some tips on what to look for when choosing the alcohol rehab for a friend or family member.

1. Do your research

Comprise a list of all the alcohol rehab centers in your local area. You can find this information on the internet, and you may want to use a comparison website which will detail and list a number of different facilities by different criteria, for example distance to the center or price. Decide which rehab center offers the best program, improving the chances of your loved one staying sober. You could even contact a representative or counselor from the facility and ask them what the age and gender of their average patient is, and the percentage of patients who finish the program successfully. Remember that your loved one will recover quickly if they feel accepted in the rehab center, and it is therefore imperative to choose the right facility based on their personal circumstances.

2. Ask the important questions

When you contact alcohol rehabs, you will need to find out the qualifications and training of the staff employed there. Don’t be afraid to ask how many patients have relapsed since completing the program, or if any violence has occurred in the treatment center. This is important information which will enable you to ascertain whether the center is right for your loved one. You will also need to find out what type of treatment the center incorporates into their program. Find out if group therapy, one-to-one therapy, or counselling is used. Several rehab centers base their programs on spiritual principles, whilst others adopt a strictly medical approach. Tell a representative or counselor from the center the situation of your loved one and what type of treatment they would receive if they enter the program. A rehab center should be honest in their plans, and should at least be able to provide you with the typical treatment that they offer.

3. Sort out financial arrangements

Choosing a rehab center may also depend on your budget. Look into any government grants or private funds which may be able to cover the cost of treatment for your loved one. You may also need to contact your insurance company to find out what is covered on your medical policy. Some rehab centers are much more expensive than others, and you may have an unexpected large bill at the end of a program if you don’t inquire about the costs beforehand. You may also be able to apply for financial aid in order to help you with the cost of the treatment.

Alcohol Rehab Centers – What Are They?

This is a rehab center that is focused on helping alcoholics overcome and learn to control the desire to drink. The main target of alcohol rehab centers is to assist their patients in going through the hard period of withdrawal from alcohol along with providing them with coping tool to help them resist drinking in the future. The services of this type of center will usually go beyond support groups and self-help programs. Alcohol rehab centers will offer medical support to ease the physical effects of detoxification and psychological therapy. If you are an inpatient in the program, you would move into the center and receive attention 24/7 as you work to gain control of your alcohol addiction.

There are also outpatient alcohol rehab centers where the patient would choose to remain the home with family members. The outpatient center will establish a regular schedule of counseling, support group activity, and physical examinations to help in the patient’s recovery process. The outpatient approach may be more productive but it all depends on how severe the alcohol addiction is. For severe alcohol addiction, it is best if they choose inpatient treatment.

A key fact that alcohol rehab centers take into account is that alcoholism is not a disease that anyone can cure. Once you are an alcoholic you will always be an alcoholic for the remainder of your life. This is the reason that alcohol rehab centers focus on helping the patients to develop coping skills to help them resist the temptation to consume alcohol. During the beginning of the recovery period, the rehab center will provide monitoring to make it a little easier to deal with the withdrawal symptoms that start soon after your body starts to learn to adjust without drinking. Some of these withdrawal symptoms can be very serious and require medical treatment so this is why the patient is carefully monitored when starting alcohol rehab. Depending on the individual, these symptoms can last from several days to months. The more serious symptoms happen to those that are considered hard drinkers and drink more than eight beers a day.

Alcohol rehab centers will also address both the mental and physical impact of alcoholism along with providing them with support, the sill set, and inspiration to overcome their addiction to alcohol and to keep it in check after the treatment is complete. Many who complete successfully the treatment at alcohol rehab centers will continue to participate in support groups in the community. By doing so it will help them to maintain a network of individuals that understand the temptation to drink alcohol and offer support to them to help them resist the urge to drink. Those that are recovering alcoholics will usually join a support group and attend weekly meetings.